Many of us advocating for children with special education needs feel so passionate about what we do. As we have seen in our daily work, children that are provided the proper related services and supports in their special education programs have a greater chance of succeeding later in life. This not only benefits the child, but also the community as the children are less likely prone to crime, joblessness and homelessness.
"No otherwise qualified individual with a disability . . . shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." - Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
You might have heard that the AB3632 School-Based Mental Health services currently available to special education students were affected by the new California budget. This is true. Below is a quick summary of about 50 pages of budgetary language:
Have you ever been in this situation: Your child has an IEP meeting, and you attend, sitting there patiently for hours while different people tell you how your child is doing. You ask a few questions, and the IEP team may or may not answer them. Then, at the end of the meeting, the IEP team makes their grand "Offer of a free and appropriate public education." However, their offer is not quite specific as to how many times a week your child will be receiving services, or who will be providing them, or how they will be provided, or even how long they will be provided. When you try to ask for specifics, the IEP team says that they are keeping it within a range in order to allow for flexibility, or gives you some other excuse.