Monday Musings

It was a long day at work, so I’m pretty beat.  I’m just going to free-write tonight.

It’s been a long year that opened up new thoughts and actions I could never in a million years see myself doing.  Writing a special education blog, going to meetings, new friends, talking to legislators, going to a task force, trying to dismantle the whole common core-smarter balanced thing, submitting FOIA requests to the DOE, and so on.  So what else do I do?

I don’t get into my personal life on here aside from being a special needs parent.  Once in a while you might see me writing about my son, but not too much.  My son and wife are well aware of my blog, and think I spend too much time on it.  They are probably right, but it beats getting drunk every night!  Not that I did that before, but there are worse things I could be doing!

Hey, here’s a blind item!  What former head of school at a charter school was once president of a school district and threw a chair at a parent?  Some of you may know the answer.  I just found out in the past month, and it justified my opinion of the person.  I wasn’t the only person to experience the rage!

I want to do follow-ups on previous articles, but there is so much I could do.  So I will leave it my readers.  What would you like to see more info on?  A few have advised my to get more info on PCG.  I do have a follow-up on that in the wings.  I’m just waiting on some additional info.  I have another VERY big story, but I have to see how some things play out first.  Like Wednesday night, hint hint!  Actually I have several big stories coming up.

It’s hard to say where all this common core curriculum is going.  People are hating it more every day, but I see no signs in Delaware it is going to go away.  I know the Republican delegates at the annual GOP convention wrote a statement saying legislation needs to be passed to repeal it.  But unfortunately there are too many minds that think the opposite in our state legislature.

The IEP taskforce is coming up again next week.  I wonder if the new Governor’s designee is going to show up.  I’m sure he will.  Maybe House Representative Miro will show up as well.  I feel certain Secretary of Education Mark Murphy won’t be there.  Dude can’t even show up at a meeting with the two superintendents of the two biggest school districts in the state!  The Delaware Board of Education has their meeting on Thursday at 1pm.  I have to go for a little bit just to see what crazy, whacked out plan they have next.  And the Moyer school goes under official formal review.  Another charter bites the dust!  Not like there aren’t six more waiting in the wings.  It’s like a virus that continues to multiply.

Well, this guy is getting to bed!  Good night Delaware!

US Senator Wants to Improve Special Education for Parents and Increase IDEA Funding #netde #eduDE @DEStateBoardEd

United States Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa, wants to improve IDEA and make it better for parents.  In a recent article on Disability Scoop, Harkness stated he has introduced legislation that will allow parents to recoup their fees for expert witnesses in a due process hearing if they prevail.

In 2006, the US Supreme Court ruled parents can get their attorney feeds paid by the school district if they win, but they were still on the hook for the expert witnesses.  These witnesses could include doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, or neurologists.  All of which charge hourly for witness testimony at more than their typical hourly rate.

According to the Disability Scoop article:

“Without access to expert witnesses, families may be unable to make an argument for the educational needs of their children,” Harkin said. “This legislation is an essential step for protecting the rights of students with disabilities and ensuring that all families, regardless of their financial resources, can advocate for and protect their children’s rights through due process, consistent with congressional intent.”

As well, Senator Harkin has introduced other legislation which would allow for IDEA to gradually increase their funding until they reach the 40% funding cap they originally agreed to almost 40 years ago.  This would give more desperately needed special education funding to schools.  The plan would allow for the full funding to be reached by 2023.  The funding for this, according to the legislation, would come from tax increases for those earning more than $1 million a year.

For more information, please read the article at http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2014/09/12/senator-burden-idea-disputes/19667/