There’s a lot of belly aching lately. The school districts are losing. More parents are discovering the same thing my family did. WE HAVE EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS. You see, in the state of Pennsylvania, our cyber charter schools operate as public schools, with all of the same state requirements placed upon them as the brick and mortar schools. There’s just one distinct difference. THEY CARE ABOUT OUR KIDS, THEIR EDUCATION, AND APPROPRIATE SERVICES.
Sure, you may say the brick and mortar schools care. Suuuurrrreeeeee. Riiiiigggghhhhtttt. The same type of schools that tell me that they don’t have an OT, so they won’t evaluate my son? The same schools that tell me that my son is performing “fine” academically so there’s no need to run a speech evaluation? The same schools that said, “Well he (my son) navigates the school building just fine, so he can navigate his way home from the bus stop (across 3 streets with on crossing guards) just fine too.” You know, these same schools that understand autism and all that goes with it so incredibly well.
These same schools that can’t grasp contact food allergies. These same schools that don’t want students to self carry asthma inhalers and Epipens, but want to keep them locked in the nurse’s office. Medications that seconds count in their administration.
These same schools where I live in the Intermediate Unit ranked third in most due process cases in our state. We were one of them last year because they’re so ignorant.
These same schools that cry that their budgets are soooooooooo strapped because parents are pulling their kids in favor of the cyber charters. They can’t possibly afford to pay their share under the current formula anymore. You know, they can’t afford to pay their share for students that AREN’T EVEN PHYSICALLY ATTENDING THEIR SCHOOLS OR USING THEIR FACILITIES, but yet, that they get funding for these children. They *whine* can’t afford to pay their share because the cyber charters are *gasp* properly educating our children.
My children were properly evaluated this year. It was determined that my older son who didn’t need evaluated because his academics were “fine,” is grossly deficient in speech. In fact, my sixth grader scored significantly lower in core language than his brother in Kindergarten. Just to give you a frame of reference.
My children were educated this year, and not just taught to some state test (Which you can opt out of, by the way. Did you know that?). My children have thrived emotionally because there is no bullying here. There are plenty of sensory breaks. There is plenty of physical education. There is plenty of health education. Their emotional health and well being is taken care of as well as their education that comes from books. They have grown and improved by leaps and bounds. My children are thriving like they never have before.
My children have had experiences that never would be afforded them in a brick and mortar school. Not the one who wanted to write off the younger child as intellectually disabled. The child who, it turns out, has a gifted IQ. All because he’d need a 1:1 because of how his autism affects him. Sad on their part.
Excuse me if I have no sympathy for these schools who are crying poor because they say they can’t pay the cyber school formula for children who aren’t even attending their schools. Children whose parents have afforded them what is a better educational opportunity for their family. If the school districts want to step up and properly follow FAPE and IDEA without parents getting lawyers and filing due process, maybe I’d feel a little more empathy, but until that changes, I just don’t.