School Budget Cuts and Special Education – Is it Legal and What is Their Motivation?

Are you the parent of a child currently receiving special education services? Are you extremely concerned about the troubles schools seem to be having with money lately? Have you been told by special education personnel that your child’s services are going to be cut due to lack of money, or that you will have to pay for some services? This article will be discussing school districts lack of money and threats being made to cut special education services; whether it is legal and possible motivations for doing this!Special education services are considered an entitlement under Federal law (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004–IDEA 2004). In order to be eligible for special education services a child must have a disability (such as autism, a specific learning disability) and have educational need. School districts are required to provide children a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) which includes all services needed for the child to benefit from their education. While parents must fight for these services, the child is entitled to them.Since a child is entitled to all the services they need; it is truly illegal for a school district to state that they will not provide services, due to lack of money. The Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Program (OSEP) has taken the position over the years that lack of money is not an excuse, for not providing needed services. The problem becomes that parents must prove that their child needs the services, and then fight for the school district to actually provide them!Lately I have heard from several parents that have received threats from school personnel that their child’s self contained program was going to close, and/or that they were going to ask parents to pay for Extended School Year services during the summertime. The child with a disability is entitled to FAPE which includes the word Free, so charging for services is not legal; under any circumstances! Also schools must provide a continuum of placement services which starts from the regular classroom, and then goes to special classes, special schools etc. If the school district is threatening to close a child’s self contained class how will they educate the child if they close the class. Shutting programs that children need is also not legal!Below are a few of my thoughts on why some school personnel may be making these threats to parents:1. School personnel may be trying to force a tax increase or fight for more state and Federal money! I have actually seen rallies on television where parents are fighting for new taxes for education, and/or trying to get the State or Federal Government to fund schools more. Schools already receive a large amount of Federal and State tax money. more than any other sector. Perhaps the problem is how they are spending their money, and what their priorities are!2. One reason school personnel may be threatening parents is because many parents do not know that schools cannot legally cut special education services or programs that their child needs! This is the reason that it is critical that parents know Federal and State law, so that they can stand up to school personnel!3. School personnel may be trying to get parents to back down from asking for expensive services. I talk about this a lot in my book Disability Deception-about how schools do not want to provide services to children that may be costly-even though the child needs it. It is important for parents to advocate for their child because their child’s life will be ruined if they do not receive an appropriate education.Many of the threats being made to parents of children in special education are actually illegal under Federal law! Children are depending on us as their parents, to stand up to lies and deceptions in special education, for the good of their education!

Student Loans in the US and the Gods of Educational Debt

Student loan defaults are rising in the United States (and so are the debt rates) and we should wonder: are we be really surprised by all this?Everybody knows what a student (or college) loan is: it is very simple, it is just “another loan” that is in fact designed to help college students pay for their tuition, living expenses, books, and the likes. The difference from other types of loans is that (i) the interest rate is quite lower with respect to a “standard loan” (the one you could get to buy a car for instance) and (ii) the repayment schedule is deferred for the entire duration of the education. Accepting a student loan, of any kind, should be done with extreme care, and the student should be aware of the basic facts and total US figures: – The current outstanding student loan debt in the United States stands at more that $830 billion; – Almost 14.5 millions are the undergraduates who enroll for college; – Each college student in higher education pays (but this is just an average figure) almost $11,000 to attend university education.The figures above are impressive and we may wonder how the US can keep up this huge higher education loan deficit that appears to be getting wider and wider… Anyway, for sure a student loan has some advantages as said, in particular, the 2 major advantages of a student loan over conventional loans are: 1) Lower interest rates; 2) Easier repayment terms.You can have a private student loan or a federal student loan. In the case of a federal student loan, Federal Direct Student Loan Program, also called Direct Loan Program or FLDP provides low interest loans for students (and parents) to help pay for the cost of college education after high school. The lender, in this case, is the U.S. Department of Education and not a bank or a financial institution, such as SallieMae for instance (and in this case we would be talking of private loan). For sake of clarity, also consider that until recently, there was the Federal Family Education Loan or FFEL Program, the second largest of the US higher education loan programs initiated by the Higher Education Act of 1965 and funded through a public/private partnership. Following the passage of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 on March 26, 2010 FFEL Program was eliminated, and no subsequent loans were permitted to be made under the program after June 30, 2010. In other words, following the passage of the Health Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, the Federal Direct Loan Program is the sole government-backed loan program in the United States.In this article titled ” Dark lords of student loan debt,” Vox Day (a blogger) shows that the advantages of a college loan (and the value of college education) may come as a hard bargain:… the value of a college education has not only declined significantly […] it has also been slashed by the construction of a methodical system of financial rapine…We invite you to read the full article and figure out by yourself if that is the case and/or you are affected by the Dark Lords, or Gods depending on the point of view, of student loan debt and if indeed these programs are a scheme… What is important to remark is that indeed college is always been considered a valuable investment, but right because we are talking of “investment”, a college student (and their parents) should stop a moment and think about the ROI of college.Perhaps the value of college as declined over the years, perhaps such value is no longer a “big” value as it had been for the previous generation, perhaps the ROI of college education could be substantially increase if, instead of considering private education, we consider a public education?Certainly, there is no single answer and no answer that is valid for everyone regardless of his/her particular situation, life objectives and, most importantly, financial situation and whether your student loan is private, federal or it is a combination of private and federal student loan.

Restoring Educational Hope in Poor Schools

Poor schools offer poor education for lack of necessary resources and educational materials and equipment necessary to help children grasp education in the best possible of ways. The future of the world relies on the school going children since it transforms them into the future successful engineers, doctors, lawyers and innovators or entrepreneurs who not only develop a community but also the world at large. Apart from making education accessible to the children, they deserve to be given quality education.Unfortunately, not all children are hopeful of the future through education. Poor schools find it hard to give quality education to children and this reduces the potential of the children to grow to their full potential. It is basically impossible for such children to take up successful career paths and turn into the professionals they wish to be. Even developed countries will still have remote areas that find it hard to give quality education. There are poor schools all over the world and this means that lots of children are missing out on opportunities that would have transformed them into what they wish to be the future.Importance of Education Education goes beyond learning how to read and write. It is through education that an individual becomes aware of who he or she really is and gets in touch with the world and all its features. Through education, talents and passions are discovered. Brains are brought to the core and professionals are born. It is how inventions are made and through such inventions, the world has developed over the years. Natural abilities and sharpness coupled with quality education gives rise to problem solvers and this is what the world needs the most. Without education, the world would still be in the Stone Age era.The future of the world relies on education. Every child has something they are good in and without proper education, it can be impossible for them to be discovered. Science and technology is a field that is crucial in making developmental changes at the individual level, community level, national level and global level. It makes it important for every child to enjoy a good education to be the best they can be for the protection of the future. Educational hope can be restored through donations dedicated to science and technology. Through non-profit organizations with the best interests of every poor child at heart, the little brains can be opened and sharpened.The organizations collect donated equipment and deliver them to deserving poor schools to improve on the learning experience of the children. Old and new equipment are acceptable as long as it can function to serve its purpose as far as educating a needy child is concerned. It is through such educational organizations that hope is being restored in the lives of many needy children in poor schools and less fortunate countries. By reaching out to the children, they are able to work towards a path that they are created to take up to make the world a better place.