Friday, September 9, 2011

Education & Politics

This week marks the beginning of a new school year in Michigan, and our boys are off to a fantastic start. Peter started 5th grade and Jacob is now a big first grader. Typical of the first week of school, I’ve filled out about a million forms. With a child like Peter, there is always a lot of extra paperwork to ensure the staff is informed of his unique issues and related medical background. As Peter has attended the same school now for several years, it is comforting to know how well the staff and his friends care for him.

Our boys attend a private school, so services that would be provided by a public institution are not always accessible for Peter. My husband and I were aware that he might miss out on some assistance by not choosing to go the public route, but we elected to place him in a private setting anyway. We could not be any happier with our decision

The public district that services Peter’s school has been very helpful in providing him with hearing-related services and assistive technology via an FM system in his classroom. This year, however, the district has decided that kids who attend private school should no longer benefit from such assistance. I find it extremely frustrating that this system has been provided by the district for the last three years but is now suddenly taken away. Why? Peter’s hearing needs are exactly the same as they were in previous years when he was always, without question, granted an FM system. Did this affect students in public schools? No. They will continue benefitting from services. This is strictly about money. If this had been the case from the beginning, I would be much more accepting that this is our choice of private vs. public. To provide something for several years, however, and remove it for no logical reason is quite baffling.

Tonight I tried explaining to Peter why he will no longer be using an FM system at school. Boy did he get an “education” about taxes and politics! If lawmakers had to sit across from their own kids and explain something like this, I sincerely think their decisions would be very different. I feel that someone higher up in our district owes Peter an explanation, and I’m going to request that he get it via a face-to-face meeting. I want to teach him that he is not too young to advocate on his own behalf. Stay tuned…

1 comment:

  1. If you reside in the district that provides the services, I don't think they can refuse the services whether he is in public or private school.


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