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April 11, 2007

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Comments

Dana Blankenhorn

Any comment on the attempt to change Georgia law so parents of kids with special needs can opt out of the public school system altogether and get a voucher?

Sue Keller

Bravo to Ms. Almazan. She cogently describes the sad state of affairs in regards to special education in the U.S. Sadly, despite the presence of the Maryland Coalition of Inclusive Education, few students here in Maryland actually benefit from MCIE's mission. Parents must still be the force that prevails on the school system. When state departments of education do not integrate the philosophy of an organization such as MCIE into their own mission, the inertia can truncate any good that the outside organization may wish to accomplish.

Jill Fouts

Any advise on steps to get Portland (Oregon) Public School to pay private tuition for my son's specific learning differences. He is entering middle school and falls further behind each year. Private school has admitted our son for fall at a price tag of $12,600. Thanks

David Cockrell

On the day that the origional IEP was written, we were told that my son could not longer participate in band, ride the bus or go onto the recreation field with peers. Soon after would not be allowed to attend assemblies.
My child has Aspergers. State and Federal agencies investigated and found that my child was denied a FAPE as well as various other compliance violations.
The district addressed these violations by inviting us to an IEP/corrective actions IEP meeting to be held on July 22, 2005. The invitation to this meeting was faxed to us on July 19 2005. The fax line at the top of the page is from a school that the district had unilaterally transfered my son's records to. The staff that was invited were all from the new school. The minutes from this meeting indicate that the Director of Special Services felt that the new school would be better due to the lower number of corrective actions in that school. She denies that my son's records were ever sent to the school in which the invitation was faxed from, and makes no comment on why were were given less than 72 hour notice to make arrangements to attend this meeting. We did attend.
An IEP was written that gave my wife and me the warm and fuzzies. They spelled out a specific person who would provide homebased services and an Algebra program that my son could take at home. Of course these acomodations were changed prior to the copy of corrective actions making its way to the State Department of Education. As of April of that year, there had been 0% academics completed as opposed to straight A's from the previous 7 years in high level classes.
I recently sent a document in which I cut and pasted factual information from the district's own documentation to the Assistant Superintendent of instruction for the District. The Director of Special Services had requested twice in IEP meetings with their attorney present that we withdraw my son from the district. It was later reported to the OCR that my son had been withdrawn and compensatory services could not be provided and services for a medical homebound reuest form dated March 2, 2006 could not be honored.
For every attemopt to misrepresent facts to the OCR and in the Prior Written Notice that was provided, I was able to show that at the time in question, the facts were documented differently.
On July 19, 2007 the Assistant Superintendent for the district sent an email indicating that the district is now willing to provide a teacher to assist with the Florida Virtual School that the district is paying for.
It is sickening that school districts are allowed to provide false information with the help of a tax payor funded attorney, that harms the child that the school is supposed to be trying to help.
My wife is a school teacher in this district and we are likely getting the friendly version of special education.We have frequent IEP meetings that cost me around $1000.00 in attorney fees and for my son's doctor to attend. Even with the doctor present, active efforts are made to document information in a less favorable way.

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