Skip to comments.Districts Are Told That Home-Schoolers Must Get Own Therapy If Not Enrolled
Posted on 04/02/2008 7:11:05 AM PDT by Tired of Taxes
Home-schooled children in New York who receive special-education services through their school district will have to get their own therapy or go to school full time.
The state Education Department notified school districts in January that they cannot provide the services.
In a memo to superintendents, the state says the federal Individual with Disabilities Education Act requires students who are home-schooled to receive the same special-education services as those enrolled in private schools, if the state designates home schools as private schools. But New York State does not recognize home schools as private schools.
The change came as the result of a decision by a state review officer in a case brought last year.
"It's a problem we had seen cropping up across the country," said T.J. Schmidt, a staff attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, a nonprofit organization providing legal services to home-school parents. "The federal government basically leaves it up to the states to determine who is a nonpublic student."
He said many parents in New York have received letters from school districts telling them that the services will be terminated.
"Often these children are in most need of additional services because their parents may not be able to provide these services themselves, or they're going to have a difficult time getting these services outside school," Schmidt said.
The decision affects a relatively small number of students. There are about 450 children statewide receiving the services from their school districts, the state estimates.
In the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District, the district is setting up appointments with the parents of four children, said Michael B. Haggerty, a spokesman for the district. Most of them receive occupational or physical therapy, he said. The district will go over the individualized education program for the pupil to see if any changes in services are warranted.
"The choice is, they enroll their student in public school or private school. If not, they're kind of on their own for the level of services their child needs," Haggerty said. "This is something the state decided, and whether we want to or not, we have to comply with the regulations."
Ping... This affects New York homeschoolers.
Actually, it seems reasonable.
Homeschooling ping, please.
This is not part of the homeschool regs for NYS.
They've been doing this for years. They've set precedent.
This amounts to blackmail.
I agree. This is a great lesson about receiving government money. It does (and arguably should) have strings attached. If we don’t like the strings we shouldn’t accept the money. Not sure that’s what you are implying but that’s my take on the thing.
Only if homeschoolers are exempted from paying school taxes for resources that they cannot use.
This, from a state that has a blind governor! He should be ashamed of himself to allow this to happen.
While technically not another reason to homeschool, this is just yet another attempt to attack homschooling. Since they can't do it through legislative means, they'll try any underhanded tactic. These parents pay property and school taxes already. It's not like they're getting something for nothing.
If the school districts want to watch their budgets, they'd make more progress with internal and administrative cuts.
If they pay property taxes, then they should be able to receive the services. If not, then they should be able to opt out of the property taxes. Yeah, that’ll happen!
If you’re a property owner, your taxes are paying for the local school system. Why shouldn’t you be entitled to the services that other taxpayers are entitled to?
It’s akin to saying, paint your house a certain color, or the paramedics won’t respond when you call 911. Your taxes paid for the services, and the local government should not put restrictions on your use of them.
What about the tax money that’s extorted from the parents in the form of property and school taxes? They have to pay it on the threat of losing their property and going to jail.
It’s not like the government’s money is theirs, as if it’s a private foundation. The money the government is disbursing to pay for these services comes from the very people they’re denying the services to.
So you think it’s OK to force people to pay for something and then deny them the use of it? Isn’t this supposed to be a representative government? Who put them in charge to make those kinds of decisions without the input of the people?
It is EXACTLY what I was implying. Thank you.
You might think so. However, experiences with having a brother with special needs teach me that there is no practical way to get therapy services except through the government. My parents did not want to, but they had no choice. My brother needed the therapy and you couldn’t even get appointments unless you went with the government. There’s basically no private market for this stuff.
Sounds like an equal protection lawsuit to me.
My personal belief is that public schools are obsolete and should be dissolved.
But nobody is running to the polls to make me president so I won't hold my breath on that one.
No, it’s not. It’s wrong to force people to pay taxes and then deny them the use of the services they’ve paid for.
Or do you think extortion is OK?
It’s just a low handed attempt to force homeschoolers into the system using financial means instead of legal means. They know it would never fly if they tried to do it the right way, so they’re being underhanded.
You approve of that?
RR, now that position I can agree with you on!
Most of the kids IN the system don’t really need it. My kids and their classmates know that most of the kids in special ed are just playing the system. When you have resource kids getting on the honor roll, it sure lends credibility to the accusations that the TAs are *helping* the kids in more ways than one.
All the kids at that school have nothing but contempt for the TA’s . The general opinion is that all they’re good for is helping kids cheat.
“”No, its not. Its wrong to force people to pay taxes and then deny them the use of the services theyve paid for.””
But if you are employed, try to get food stamps or welfare or unemployment. To get government services, you must follow the rules.
The problem is not as shallow as people think. The problem is that the services are tied to public schools.
Public schools are a place for indoctrination, free food and free condoms. They are not only obsolete but do more harm than good. They should be abolished.
This issue is merely one brick in the wall, and a small one at that. It does not affect many students. But it does shed just a little more light on the bigger problem.
>>Actually, it seems reasonable.<<
Why? I pay 15,000 a year for my two girls to be educated, yet keep them at home and do it myself.
Why shouldn’t I get something for that cash?
Actually, it seems reasonable.
Only if homeschoolers are exempted from paying school taxes for resources that they cannot use.
Doesn’t seem reasonable to me. If you have a child with some handicap, the public school may not be a good placement. Private schools may not be either, or may be out of reach financially. Handicapped children are expensive to raise - there are therapies and medical expenses that insurance does not pay for.
The only private school suited to my son cost fifty thousand a year, so he went to public school. My son was bullied in school, and fortunately the school was responsive and protective. If it hadn’t been, I would have pulled him out and taught him at home. He still would have needed services.
If the state pays for the services in private schools because of the student’s needs, it should pay for services for homeschooled students if that is the best placement for the child.
While I don’t agree with the ruling, why would homschoolers WANT this kind of help from the public school system? I thought they took take their children out to AVOID the system.
This is the way it is in California.
I had to put my special needs daughter into private school because the public school was failing her, and now we have to pay for all services.
And we don’t get any tax breaks for anything it.
>>Why shouldnt I get something for that cash?<<
Who, without children, does?
I was shocked to learn this back in 1967, when I was in 7th grade.
It’s been going on longer than anybody has been alive. So, what are we gonna do about it short of a boston tea party? I can tell you right now that “voting” aint gonna change it.
>>People without children pay the same taxes.<<
And I did that for 10 years. But the point now is that I have children that are saving my district money. As a homeowner if I didn’t like that I paid property taxes, I voted out the people who put those laws in place.
But what you are saying is that my children should not be allowed a service that I pay for. Not that you don’t have a child to take advantage of it.
Personally, I think all parents should pay to educate their children and cut the taxes. I do it for about 500.00 a year.
Then obviously, districts should be told to get their own money if they don’t have the homeschooler enrolled.
I’m betting you are wrong.
I know tons of people with kids who the public school system has failed, and their kids have real disabilities.
My daughter has a brain injury, and she has a severe speech disorder. She was having trouble with reading and writing, but the district said she was okay.
We put her in private school with a special pull-out for reading/writing. We lost all of her speech and occupational therapy services.
It’s just all very expensive, and I would just like my tax dollars back.
Precisely my point: the drop in ADD and the other what I call ‘alphabet diseases’ will drop like a rock.
>>Who, without children, does?<<
If you want to adopt or give birth to a child, that child could take advantage.
At this point, it’s a denial of service for an actual child.
What kind of services?
Why would a homeschooler trust in these services?
It really does not seem reasonable to me either, regarding my general world view.
I merely meant to say that it seems reasonable as it fits within the existing school funding paradigm.
It is like this:
Poor kids get free food now in many (if not most) public schools. If the parents were to home school their child, the school will not come out to the house to feed them or give them “free food” vouchers. If they want the free food, it is tied to being an enrolled student at a participating public school.
Same thing applies here. You want the free stuff, you gotta be a student. Otherwise, think of the tax dollars as going to any other government service that you really cannot use (like people in eastern Washington paying enormous taxes to support the state Ferry system).
Why do you think people have hated paying taxes since before either of us were born.
Ain’t socialism wonderful!!!
There is actually quite a market for special needs services.
We have a private speech therapist. We’ve seen a private occupational therapist. We have a private school with a learning specialist that works with reading/writing.
There are other private schools that help kids with more severe disabilities.
The only thing is that it is expensive, and you don’t get tax breaks!!!!!
Until you remember that every household in the state if forced to finance these indoctrination centers at gunpoint by virtue of property tax.
EXACTLY. Exemption and reimbursement. THAT is reasonable.
>>At this point, its a denial of service for an actual child.<<
The service is not for children. It is for children that are students in public schools.
Welfare is not for citizens. It is for citizens that meet particular requirements.
Unemployment is not for citizens. It is for citizens that meet certain requiremnts.
I don’t like the game and would like to see it ended, but the game does have rules. The rules are not the problem. The problem is the game itself.
It may depend on where you are. In semi-rural Pennsylvania, all the therapists specializing in children with special needs work through the government or through private schools. My brother is fortunate to be able to attend a private school for kids with disabilities and his tuition is paid by the school district as it is cheaper for them than mainstreaming him.
When my mother wanted different approachs for speech therapy than the therapist was willing to try, when my brother was a toddler, the only help she could find was a group of mothers studying some techniques on their own and getting private consultations from a doctor who donated his time to help them out. It worked out ok but the lack of private-market services was amazing.
My daughter is on the honor roll, but she has a disability.
She has a brain injury, epilepsy, apraxia of speech and reading/writing problems, short term memory problems, and some other auditory processing problems.
She is great in math, but needs help in other areas.
The epilepsy is new this year, so she has accomodation to be able to listen to books on tape instead of reading them. It helps a lot.
She does about 2 hours of homework each nigh and she’s only in 5th grade. She workds much harder to get A’s then her brother and sister.
Having a disability doesn’t mean that you can’t get A’s. It does mean that you learn differently and need to be taught things differently.
NYS regs allow for the use of school equipment requested by homeschoolers. If homeschoolers can access the lab equipment, overhead machines, etc. why not other services?
>>The service is not for children. It is for children that are students in public schools<<
No, it’s for the children in a district.
We have friends with children in private schools that take advantage of Speech Therapy in the public.
You, like this district, are making your own rules with the homeschooler’s money.
Outstanding summary! Raucous round of applause, a Guinness, and a kitten!
In many places, the only way to see a speech therapist or other therapists for a child with special needs is through the school district.
Not to mention the homeschoolers are already saving the school district thousands and thousands of dollars by not mainstreaming their special needs children.
You may be right in a rural area that there aren’t therappist in that area because they don’t have enough clients, but in the cities there are lots of private therapist.
Considering I’ll bet that they still pay the school taxes for the area, not really....
RobRoy's not making the rules. In the situation in the article, the New York legislature has made the rules, and the school district is interpreting the rules (it appears) within the discretionary space left by the law.
Other states have different laws and different levels of school district discretion.
As RobRoy so brilliantly put it, "The problem is the game itself."
I would then withhold all school taxes until such services were restored.
If this regulation will pay for kids in private school, then there is no reason it should not apply to kids in other educational situations. The parents pay the same taxes.
I’m not talking about kids with real serious issues, like your daughter. I know there are kids out there with genuine needs and I have no problem at all helping them.
I know that injuries don’t always affect intelligence. That’s a whole different issue. Some of the kids in the resource program have different needs. Some are clearly mentally handicapped, one has Down Syndrome and is quite bright, some are refugee kids who have been adopted and are in the process of learning English, a very few have fine motor control issues which makes writing very tedious for them. That accounts for less than half.
We’re somewhat new to this community, but most everyone else has grown up together here and have known each other since before kindergarten. They know how smart each other is and know very well what kind of grades they’d be capable of getting. They KNOW who’s playing the system and who’s not.