This story is not unique to me. I am the father of a Special Education student, and, like many parents, my wife and I have struggled through meetings and programs trying to find the best educational path for our son. Our struggles have been with little support from the district, even when we have asked for that help. I have spoken to many district families with children in special education programs. These problems are real and result from the corruption of prior school district administrations and the strangling of public-school funding at the State level.
In 2016, I was asked by my son's Special Education teacher if I would consider becoming a substitute teacher. It was hard for him to find substitutes willing to work in SPED classrooms, and as I was a parent that knew the students in the class, I took on the task. I worked in as many classrooms in as many schools as possible during my two years in the district. I realized that there was no way to provide the services needed with the limitations the teachers and paraprofessionals face due to staffing and funding shortages.
Our Special Education children will not be forgotten, and their parents should be educated on the programs available so that they can be better-informed advocates for their children. My goal is to be the voice of the parents of every child who deserves special services and who needs better access to information and support from the district. Are you a parent or guardian of a child with an IEP or 504 plan and want your voice heard? If so, please reach out to me at email@example.com.