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Steven A. Greenburg, Education Law
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Santa Cruz Special Education Law for Parents Blog

Report: Special education funding in California ‘unequal’

As a parent of a child in a special education program, you are probably well aware of the individualized attention required in their schooling. When you sat down with the school to discuss your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), the school explained the parameters for your child’s education and progress based on their needs. What goes on behind the scenes to shape these programs?

While you see the end goals and objectives of your child’s special education, do you understand what goes on to meet them? Because special education requires individualized attention, schools are often required to hire additional staff to take on the job. However, federal and state funding for special education staff and the programs they lead was recently called “very unequal,” according to a report by Voice of San Diego, a non-profit news organization.

Having the right information crucial for parents of students with ADHD

Children with ADHD can face many challenges. Some of these challenges come from there still being quite a few misconceptions out in communities about this disorder.

So, parents of children with ADHD might wonder what they can do to try to fight such misconceptions and the stigmatization of ADHD in their community. One such way, as a recent U.S. News & World Report article noted, is for them to be an advocate for their child in their community.

Major increase in autism research funding requested

Different medical conditions see different levels of research funding. How much such funding has autism seen in recent times? It is estimated that, in 2015, $343 million was put towards autism research. This includes both public and private funds. This is well below the funding levels for some other conditions, such as AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease.

A request is being made asking that autism research funding levels be increased significantly in the next few years.

IEP: Is your child making progress?

Developing an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for your child is just the first step. After you establish a plan, you need to continuously monitor your child for signs of improvement. The school’s teachers and specialists will evaluate your child, and work to determine progress, but you also need to assess their development outside of this formal environment.

As a parent, you know your child’s personality, actions and development better than anyone else. Use this knowledge to ensure that your child’s IEP is meeting their needs and helping them learn in a meaningful way. How can you determine progress outside of the school environment?

The many costs of bullying

Bullying at schools can cause a great deal of harm. It can have major, lasting impacts on its victims. It can also have big implications, including monetary ones, for school districts.

Among the things bullying can do is make a student, and their parents, feel like school is no longer a safe place. Among the things this could lead to is a student having more school absences. In addition to having implications for a student’s education, such an increase could have financial ramifications for the student’s school district. This is because, here in California, level of student absences is among the things that impact what funding a school district receives.

Speak up if you are not happy with your child’s IEP

Developing an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for your child is a time intensive process. The school evaluates your child, analyzes their learning style, schedules meetings with you and the rest of the IEP team and makes recommendations for your child’s education. What if you disagree with the school’s recommendation after investing all of that time and energy?

AI and robotics: Future big players in education?

One place where new technologies can play a big role is in the classroom. Two technologies that could be poised to be major players in classrooms in future years are robotics and AI.

These technologies have already been turned towards some education applications. It is thought by some that AI and robotics technologies could lead to major developments in how kids are taught and the role of teachers in the classroom. Hopes have been expressed that such technologies could provide a range of educational opportunities for students. This includes opportunities when it comes to learning mathematics and other areas of study that touch on STEM fields.

Bill regarding IDEA funding before the U.S. House

Many different decisions can have significant impacts on California special needs students. This includes what decisions the parents of such students make when issues come up related to their child’s education. It also includes the choices schools in the state make regarding their special education programs. It further includes what actions government bodies in the state opt to take when it comes to special education policy.

Additionally, there are certain federal government decisions that can be very impactful in this regard. This includes what the federal government decides to do in relation to special education funding. What choices the federal government makes regarding such funding can have major impacts on how much in resources special education programs ultimately receive. This, in turn, could have implications regarding the effectiveness of such programs.

Proposed scholarship program aims to help tackle teacher shortage

Sadly, there are things that have the potential to get in the way of special needs students getting a high-quality education. One is there not being enough qualified special education teachers in the school system they are a part of. Concerns about the possibility of this problem arising here in California are among the concerns that have come up in connection to the teacher shortage in the state.

One of the possible tactics California is currently looking into for addressing the shortage is a proposed scholarship program. The recent state budget draft purportedly includes funding for the proposed new program.

Fidget spinner bans at schools

Among the many rules schools have are rules on what kids can and cannot bring to class. One object that such rules have increasingly been coming up for lately are fidget spinners.

These small devices that can be spun have grown considerably in popularity among kids in recent times.

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