Monday, January 26, 2009

Your honest thoughts please....

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. We have been trying to get one of our children seen by the public school system for a minor speech impediment. We have gone around and around, and ultimately the school is refusing to treat our child "because that is their policy". They don't treat homeschooled children. Period. Apparently this goes for children who attend private schools too. According to the law, however, public schools in our state are NEITHER PROHIBITED NOR REQUIRED to treat homeschooled children. So why would they not treat a child, if they are not prohibited to by law, and that child's family is paying their salary? Am I just too close to this situation to see clearly or does this seem unethical? When I asked what options homeschoolers have, I was told we would have to pay for private therapy. We are already paying $540 a month on private therapy for Ava, in addition to her school therapy, so it is hard for me to think of adding more to that when we are already paying taxes, that should, in my opinion, qualify us for school therapy. what am I missing here? Other schools in the area do treat homeschooled children, I am told. So WHY wouldn't they? The only answer we have gotten is that "it is their policy". I am trying to decide whether to keep pursuing this, or just drop it, which is why I would like to hear your thoughts.

This is what the law says:
Although LEAs are still responsible for child find activities to ensure that homeschooled children with disabilities are located, identified, and evaluated, and that a FAPE is available if their parents choose to enroll them in public schools. LEAs are neither required nor prohibited by federal or Oklahoma State law to treat homeschooled children as children enrolled in private schools (because the decision to homeschool a child is a decision to refuse the right to a FAPE, and thus, special education and related services at the expense of the LEA).

By the way, I have no idea what an LEA is.

27 comments:

Christine said...

Wow, in California they are required to provide services for homeschooled children---- after doing some research I couldn't come up with any info about your state. I am sorry.

Dalene said...

To be honest with you, I'd fight to the death, and then I would make sure that she got the BEST treatment. You're right...you're paying taxes like everyone else, AND saving the schools the "trouble" of educating her. What's their problem?

If I were you, I'd call up whatever TV station it was that interviewed you for AVA, and I'd express my concerns. Seems like a great segment. See if that little school district likes the bad press.

Ethics aren't supposed to be decided by loopholes.

Tim Rovenstine said...

This is a tough call, could you go to the Tulsa Schools instead of the Broken Arrow?

Christina L said...

It sounds like they might be getting by the "neither required to" instead of the "prohibited". It might be a loophole. You could try another district possibly. I think as a parent you should do all you can to get the services your children need. However, from a practicality standpoint, the public schools are full of over worked and underpaid personnel and are probably trying to get by. Not making excuses, just stating a fact. I know people who are in the school system and have trouble getting the services they need for their children. FYI.

Cammie Heflin said...

LEA is Local Education Agent/Agency, they are usually a counselor, principal or process coordinator or Special Services director. Keep pursing this. In Missouri we serve HS and private kids, I have also contacted OK and they say that don't recognize HS but there has got to be someone higher up that can help!!!

June Berger said...

They may not be doing it because, it costs them money to provide the service. Yes, you ARE paying taxes, but you don't have a choice in that, they do apparently. For every service they can refuse, that visit can be used for someone else, or in the school itself. I'm NOT saying it's right or fair, I'm just saying it may be how they are looking at it.

You could contact HSLDA www.hslda.org .

Personally, I would keep fighting, I plan on it for Jonathan and Anah if the need arises.

Not sure about your state, but NY has homeschool advocates that are other parents that know a bit more about the ins and outs of the school system and can go to bat for you. Not sure where you'd find that info, mabye on your states education web site?

Praying it all works out well, keep us updated.

Anonymous said...

So they will 'evaluate' them for purposes of possibly helping them should they enroll in school? They just want give them the therapy if they are not in school? That is different from Georgia. Getting them evaluated if they are home schooled seems very daunting. But by law, they have to offer the services. I've yet to try this out though, as Sawyer is still in school for now.

I absolutely think it's wrong. Your taxes pay their salaries. I know they are trying to prevent people from taking a 'cafeteria' style approach to school. ("I'll take two chemistries and 1 speech, please".) Of course, I also think if they did offer cafeteria style approach they might do better. (That's a topic for another discussion)

Is there anyway to get to the other district for therapy or will they only help those in their own districT? I certainly wouldn't give up because speech therapy is so expensive and hard to come by outside the school. Just not sure which approach to take. So sorry for being no help but I do think it is wrong. Perhaps, check your homeschooling legal aide group or your local congressman?

Good luck,
Jan

Shea said...

I would fight it!!!

Amanda Meeks said...

Hi This is Amanda and i thought i would put my 2 cents in. I am not sure how you would keep on going about this issue. But i do know what our tax dollars go for it is a great program from the state. When hunter was 2 to up to right about 3 he got speech thearpy from the state at no cost to me and they came to my home up to about 2 time a week for a bit then tapered off to once a week then twice a month. it with the program soonerstart. You might give that a try since that is what your tax dollars does payfor that helps anyone no matter of what income! anyway, good luck. Amanda

Amanda said...

My name is Amanda and I have 2 special needs kids from India. It is my understanding that the school must provide services to children with disabilities. It is a Federal law. Federal law triumphs state law.
The problem is that the child will have to qualify for the services. I've heard in some states that is being >50% delayed.
I'm not sure how bad your daughters delays are.
You can email me privately at phillips27@msn.com

Charissa said...

Thanks everyone. I am pretty sure another school district is out of the question. A TV interview is probably out of the question too, considering the negative attention homeschooling has been getting lately, plus Ava still goes there and that might just be......weird. I talked to Liesel tonight about enrolling in school and she said she might be OK with that. She really wants to get help. Bless her little heart. She is trying so hard, and so am I. I am hoping John will take over and run it on up to the superintendent. It's hard to find the balance between being assertive and staying nice, especially when your kids are involved.

Anonymous said...

Good Idea with John trying it now. I know we did that with Sawyer and transferring him out of one school to another. My husband went to the meeting (I stayed home with the kids). He kept them in there for 4 hours and wouldn't let 'em out. He can talk the smile off Mona Lisa! We finally got what we wanted. More than we wanted, actually. There are always exceptions to every rule. That meeting showed us that.

Good luck.

Jan

DoveFamily said...

Every state has their own unique rules on this. For us in Georgia it was actually fairly easy. William is in private school, but we simply called our local elementary school and requested an initial eval. A week later he was there, she did a few things with him, and gave us 'homework' that we had to do for about 6 weeks. WE then we back for the second eval, and she determined he needed some basic instruction. So once a week we take him to her for 30 minutes.
I think others have said it too, but if the school isn't cooperating, call the county (or parish or whatever you have where you are). If that doesn't work, go to the state. And also look for advocates/advocacy groups that will assist you. Good luck!

Jenn

Anonymous said...

The amount of money your school district gets is directly related to the number of students enrolled. If your child is not enrolled in the school district, then the district gets no money for your child. But keep working on it, you are your child's advocate!

Anonymous said...

My little girl goes to a private school and her teacher told me to call something called "Child Find". In fact she insisted I call.

I think there is a Child Find in many states. Try googling child find and your state. They evaluated her and said she needed speech.

They set up a time for me to take her once a week, for an hour, with a speech teacher. I need to pick her up from the private school, and take her to the public school for speech. Then bring her back.

I was not very enthusiastic about going to speech but I have to say it helped a lot. It was disconcerting having to sign papers about what my legal rights were and how I had been informed of the plan and goals etc, but it worked out to be a good thing.

They always give her a lot of practice homework and show me how to help her with it and use it for practice.

markay714 said...

Daniel and Maria are in a private preschool and we had equal success to you getting speech help through the school system. I think they think they're supposed to here (not OK) but it was a totally frustrating thing. If it is anything like here, there's no way my blood pressure could stand the long haul of bucking the system with their closed minds. I'd be thinking private, signing up for school for the rest of the year (and HIGH expectations) or even try to find a more creative solution - perhaps a stay at home mom speech therapist that you could barter with or something.

WheresMyAngels said...

My son had speech issues and I could get the school to give him services for years, even though he was going to school. They said his speech wasn't bad enough to require services because people could understand him :(

WE finally got him speech in 5th grade after me trying since 1rst grade. That one year made all the difference.

Good luck. I can imagine how fustrating that is. I hate the idea of sending Aysha to school, although I don't have a choice because neither one of us could home school.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who is a lawyer for special needs children. I will see what she says.
--Indiana Dietitian

Anonymous said...

also your homeschool state association should have a lawyer to refer you to that could help with the situation.

first lady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
first lady said...

Hi ~ I link to your page from valerie's ... but I live in wyoming and out here they have a place called Developmental Pre-school - my son gets speech help- but they are completely free regardless of income. all u do is get 'tested' not sure if they have that all around the united states BUT it was suggested from my kiddos DOCTORS and it has been a total blessing, they come to your own home even, give ideas on how to help your kids and they work with your kids ... I hope that helps... I agree valerie five a days are a great idea and a great way to uplift :)
sorry I some how deleted it.
Good luck
kristy

Anonymous said...

Charissa--I checked w/my friend from the US Dept of Civil Rights and she said to try the State Dept of Education and directly ask the question to someone in charge there.
http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
should have links to what you need to find out your contact in your area

Charissa said...

Anonymous, who are you? I'm guessing Julie Duncan? I just want to know who to thank. I'll check into that....right now. By the way, we have an appointment this morning for Liesel for an evaluation. Hopefully we'll see a principal while we're there. Classes have been cancelled all week because of the snow so we were unable to schedule an appointment.

Anonymous said...

nope it is Michelle the IN dietitian. I am still following the blog when I get a chance and I had always wondered what happened w/hs kids in need of special services because my dau has mild to moderate hearing loss and my friend offered to assist me w/any problems w/the school but we are also considering hs next year so if you get a chance post your outcome. thanks! btw I don't have a blog identity. good luck and we will be praying for ava. does she have any praise baby dvd's? Abby just loves those and I would love to get her one.

Charissa said...

Michelle,
Thank you. No we do not have Baby Praise DVDs. Thank you for thinking of us. I might have some dietary questions for you. I don't think I have your email address. Can you email me if you don't mind?
charissaurban@yahoo.com

Natalie said...

Sorry to be coming so late to the party, but there may be more than one way to skin this cat. Services may be available under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. It depends on some local law issues.

Does the local school district allow kids who are homeschooled to attend classes in public school or to participate in afterschool activities like sports or clubs? If so, then you may be able to get the speech services through 504. You would probably have to transport to school for the services and might not have much choice in the schedule, but...

Good luck.

Alexandra {{Awareness Warrior}} said...

yes, it is totally insane that you are paying their salaries and yet they will not work for their money. I would scare them into it by saying "I'm sick of your discrimination against homeschooled children! Maybe I will look into a lawyer after all!" and they should be jumping through hoops for you!