An Open Letter to Governor Malloy, Connecticut Congressional Delegates, Manchester Board of Education, Board of Directors, and Manchester Public Schools Administration

[Hello, Friends.  This morning I sent the following email to just about everyone. Attached was the State Department of Education complaint we filed last week. I am not sharing the actual complaint document here as it contains personal details, but the general content of the complaint is described in the below letter.]

Good morning, Governor, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

My name is Rachel Kenyon, mother of RM (6).  RM is a special education student in the town of Manchester and attends the *** School.

Once again, our family has been subjected to unethical practices carried out by the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Staff of Manchester Public Schools.

Attached you will find the complaint filed last week with the State Department of Education, Special Education Bureau.  There were an additional 200 pages of documentation that we provided to support the complaint.  Those documents are available upon request to all parties in this communication. This complaint was filed after a Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meeting on March 4th, 2013, during which the Outplacement Coordinator of Manchester Public Schools (MPS), refused to listen to and accept a recommendation by RM’s neurologist and advised me instead to file for mediation or due process, or file a state complaint.

I spend much of my time advocating for special needs families when I am not advocating for my own children.  Sadly, time and again the families that seek out my assistance are also victims of the continued practice of MPS to say “no” to appropriate services for special education students, forcing parents into a corner.  Special needs families are struggling day to day.  We are the most vulnerable population within our communities while also the most underserved.  Most of our families do not have the resources to spend thousands of dollars on attorneys’ fees to push for the legal access to education their children are afforded under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Rather, our families are being bullied to the brink of exhaustion within a system that is so inherently flawed that the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) staff think nothing of laughing at parents and telling them to go ahead and file for mediation or due process.

Our family has endured several such PPT meetings where we were laughed at and ignored by PPS, and talked over by Board legal counsel.  We have been to mediation.  We have spent thousands on attorneys’ fees while my husband was serving in Afghanistan.  Years later now, I have educated myself regarding the rights and laws designed to protect my child’s best interest, yet I have never experienced a single member of the PPS staff exhibit an ounce of compassion or reason when discussing my child’s education. Instead, PPS staff have refused to even listen to physician recommendations and also refused the simple courtesy of including a school physician consultant in PPT invitation.  Even more disturbing, is that the Outplacement Coordinator for MPS was once RM’s in-district speech pathologist.  There was a time when Ms. Outplacement Coordinator claimed to love my child and enjoyed eating lunch with her each day.  Subsequently, it was Ms. Outplacement Coordinator who rejected RM’s neurologist’s diagnosis of autism in 2010 while my husband was in Afghanistan.  MPS then conducted an in-district evaluation while our family hired an attorney and pursued an appropriate Independent Educational Evaluation, mediation, and eventually outplacement.

My daughter may have disabilities, and she may need accommodations to access the educational curriculum, but she is worthy of the same high expectations that we place upon our “typical” children.  IDEA specifically states that right.  Please tell me that you agree we should have high expectations of our educators and PPS staff as well. Please share with us that you agree and understand that the accommodations and high expectations we have of our special children today will prepare them for a successful and independent future rather than a lifetime of dependence on social programs and dollars, incarceration, mental illness, or worse.

As a lifelong resident of Manchester, it is sad and so embarrassing to know that Manchester Public Schools has a deplorable reputation regarding special education.  The special needs community sees no improvement on the horizon.  How can we come together to change that?  Because requiring my Congressman’s office to attend and observe a PPT seems dangerously heading in the opposite direction of any hope that we can make our district great again.

While I continue to learn more about MPS and district practices, I also invite all of you to get to know my daughter and our experiences with Manchester Public Schools.  I invite you to witness the deep chasm between the best interests of our unique and amazing children and MPS practices.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank MPS for pushing me so hard to fight for my daughter’s educational rights.  Not only has it allowed me to pay it forward and teach other parents how to advocate for their children, but it has given me a national platform to pass federal legislation and bring these battles to light.  I have made multiple Freedom of Information Act requests to Manchester Public Schools. Please look for my upcoming articles with TIME, Huffington Post, Autism Speaks, American Military Families Autism Support, Babble.com, The Courant, The Journal Inquirer, Manchester Patch, and CTFEAT, as well as my own publication Welcome to StimCity.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to working with all of you to bring awareness and equality to the special education of our most unique and amazing children. Most especially, I look forward to seeing Manchester Public Schools work to improve their service to the special needs population and lift up our families rather than add to our burdens. I look forward to one day sitting across the table from MPS staff and having a sound, meaningful relationship which includes respectful dialogue concerning the best interests of my daughter.

Best,

Rachel Kenyon

About Rachel Kenyon

Rachel Kenyon is an Aspie, Advocate and single mom of two beautiful babes - The Boy (11) and RM (8). The Boy is a Legomaniac and RM is a kick-ass diva with Autism and 4q Deletion Syndrome. View all posts by Rachel Kenyon

22 responses to “An Open Letter to Governor Malloy, Connecticut Congressional Delegates, Manchester Board of Education, Board of Directors, and Manchester Public Schools Administration

  • Erin

    I am so sorry that you have to fight so hard for everything with your school district. That said, your struggles and determination have made you a gift to the special needs community. Thank you for all you do. I sincerely hope they listen and your daughter gets the accommodations she deserves. Praying for you.

  • Karen

    I am so sorry that once again, you are fighting to have the school district provide the services and support that they are required to provide. Please know that we are here for you, and if we can help in any way, please ask…

  • blogginglily

    hahahah! LOVE it. Honey badger indeed.

  • chris

    although i don’t consider myself special needs i to have disabilities and limitations that ive known about since i was 4. and i know for a fact that getting the help you need can indeed make a huge difference. take me for example living away from home about 100 miles in college. already graduating a 14 month program. getting voted most school spirited in senior year of high school winning a sports award for managing. and when i tell people i have limitations they often seam to have no idea. im sorry if it seams like im trying to brag. im not but what i am doing is saying through my own personal experiences that i know for a fact getting the right kind of help asap can make a huge difference. and i really hope your child gets the help she deserves.

    • Rachel Kenyon

      Chris, you are entitled to brag away! THANK YOU for sharing part of your story, it is SO important that we know you and how meaningful supports have enriched your life.

      Bless you!

      • C Mills

        Chris, I also have a special needs child who attends RM’s school. He has been at this PUBLIC autism program for 5 years and is doing well. Your insight just inspried me!! What a gift, thanks for sharing Chris!!
        I would respond to “concerned taxpayer” directly, but I can’t dignify the complete misinformation by responding to the ranting misinformed post. BUT Chris I think the point is if we give people the FREE APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION that this country offords them, the sky is the limit. Maybe concerned taxpayers out there should contemplate the cost of not treating these children now. If 1 in 88 people in this country can’t flourish like Chris, then we will pay to care for them as adults.

  • Concerned Taxpayer

    Wow, your child is 6, so that means you have what, 2 years of experience in the ‘system?’ I don’t see how you have had time to have all of these negative experiences

    I think your goal all along was to get MPS to pay for private school for your child. As a concerned taxpayer I think it would be VERY reasonable, if not downright benevolent of MPS to offer to pay the amount YOU pay in school taxes towards YOUR child’s PRIVATE school.

    You use some pretty intense language in your accusations, language that in my opinion is mean to inflame and to prejudice the views of those who are reading ‘your’ blog. I can’t imagine any professional ‘laughing’ at you in a PPT. Inflammatory comments such as “….yet I have never experienced a single member of the PPS staff exhibit an ounce of compassion or reason when discussing my child’s education.” are patently false just on their face!

    And to use your husband’s valiant service to his country as another point to gain sympathy is revolting. His service to our country has nothing to do with your attempt to have everyone else pay for your child’s private education.

    I am also sure, from years of experience and from reading your diatribe, that you would only accept one resolution to your perceived problem: have MPS pay for the entire outplacement for your child. Probably nothing else would have been acceptable to you.

    And lastly, but I have oh so much more I could write, if your child is only 6, it doesn’t appear that you tried very hard to work within the system. It appears, as I said previously, that you had one goal in mind, and only one: to have MPS and the taxpayers that support MPS, pay for your child’s private education.

    So there you have it, you are now a beacon and mentor for anyone else who wants to get a free ticket to their “most unique and special” child’s private education. Yet, I am sure you only mean physically/mentally disabled children: the higher functioning and ‘gifted’ students will have to suffer with the horrendous, public, insensitive, corrupt MPS.

    • Rachel Kenyon

      Dear Anonymous Concerned Taxpayer,

      I possess both video and audio recordings of IEP meetings which demonstrate the behaviors towards us as parents as described above. I do not need to resort to inflammatory language. What you read is what we get.

      I “worked within the system” allowing my child to make no progress in the in-district preschool for more than 18 months. During that time, Manchester Public Schools was happy to pay more money in attorneys’ fees (hundreds of thousands of YOUR tax dollars) to avoid providing appropriate services as outlined in the IDEA and its regulations to provide FAPE. <<<LAWS. Real. Federal. LAWS. that were created so that people like you could not determine that my daughter was unworthy of the same education as my gifted and talented son. (Yes, I have both.)

      On a rather SIDE note for sure, I don't "use" my husband's service for anything. I serve, too, and so do my children. We serve this country as a family, making sacrifices 99% of the American population know nothing about. Part of that service is what provides the necessary freedoms to people like you to be ignorant. Sadly. On the other hand, our service, and my husband's valor are what make it possible for laws like IDEA and ADA to PROTECT our citizens. ALL of our citizens. I believe it's that silly document called THE CONSTITUTION. Yeah, that's the one we all serve to defend.

      Good day to you. When you have found a cure for ignorance, do share. In the meantime, as I assist other families like my own that deal with the most unprofessional and illegal practices of this district I used to be proud to call home… please share. Otherwise, to use your own words, "students will have to suffer with the horrendous, public, insensitive, corrupt MPS."

      One last thing, my child attends a CREC school because MPS was unable to employ an autism expert and maintain an autism program that provided FAPE. It is NOT a private school. Also, if MPS would actually abide by federal reporting regulations and standards, they would receive even MORE grant money to offset the expense of special education required by law.

  • Rachel

    Dear Concerned Taxpayer,

    I don’t live in Manchester, I don’t even know the author of this blog personally. Let’s just get that out of the way first, so you don’t think I’m a friend rushing to her rescue. I’m a reader of the blog because I share with Ms. Keyon having a child on the autism spectrum and I happen to live in the state of Connecticut.

    There is so much in your clearly angry comment that I could speak about, but I’m going to try to limit myself to a few key points.

    The first thing I’d like to point out is that I read Ms. Keyon’s blog as a means of connecting with other parents with children with special needs and for the funny stories or cute pictures she posts. Despite your hints in your final paragraph I can assure you that her blog is not a conspiracy to make sure we all know how to get the private schools for our kids.

    I have had my child enrolled in multiple school districts due to job moves, and I can tell you for a fact that I have been laughed at by professionals in multiple districts on multiple occasions related to my son and his needs. I promise you that it happens every day in every state in this country. Consider yourself quite lucky that it’s never happened to you.

    A tiny history lesson for you (and this is straight from Wikipedia) Free Appropriate Public Education, or FAPE, is an educational right of children with disabilities in the United States that is guaranteed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973[1] and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Under Section 504, FAPE is defined as “the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services that are designed to meet individual needs of handicapped persons as well as the needs of non-handicapped persons are met and based on adherence to procedural safeguards outlined in the law.” Under the IDEA, FAPE is defined as an educational program that is individualized to a specific child, designed to meet that child’s unique needs, provides access to the general curriculum, meets the grade-level standards established by the state, and from which the child receives educational benefit.[2] The United States Department of Education issues regulations that define[3] and govern[4] the provision of FAPE.

    This law means that the Manchester Public School district is quite literally required by law to provide services for Ms. Keynon’s daughter that are designed around HER needs in an educational environment. The school district is required to provide these services beginning on the child’s third birthday (not the day they would enter kindergarten) and prior to that here in CT the Birth to Three System is responsible for appropriate services.

    You find her documentation of their family story using “language that in my opinion is mean to inflame and to prejudice the views of those who are reading ‘your’ blog” (side bar: why quotes around the word your? Did you think someone else was writing it for her?) But I just don’t understand and I’d like you to explain to me how you want her to react. Do you want her to sit quietly while the school district breaks laws? Do you want her to not fight for the rights of not just her child but every child in town who deserves (again, legally, not just morally or ethically) the right to these services? What kind of language do you WANT her to use?

    Your very unkind and personal attack of “have MPS pay for the entire outplacement for your child. Probably nothing else would have been acceptable to you” struck me as the most blatant proof that you are missing the entire point. Through this entire process Ms. Keyon has asked for nothing more than the Manchester Public School district to follow the clearly outlined Federal law related to providing a free APPROPRIATE public education for her daughter. It’s not about private schools for her child or anyone’s child- it’s about Manchester following the laws for every single child in the district.

    As a concerned tax payer, are your concerns related to what you perceive is your money going down the drain for someone else’s kid? Perhaps you ought to be more concerned about the fact that your money is going down the drain because the district is wasting it not following very clear cut Federal laws. Really your biggest concern should be that the school district isn’t following the law for this one child, so who knows what else it’s doing with every other child it has in it’s care (including the children in your life that you care about- be they your child or not).

    I would offer that you ought to take a closer look- an independent review of sorts- about how many FAPE complaints have been filed against the district, or how much from the district budget has gone to legal fees in the past few years might be a good place to start. You might want to check in for yourself about what the district is doing and spend less time attacking people who are trying to bring the issue to the forefront so the entire town can benefit.

  • Concerned Taxpayer

    Dearest Ms. Kenyon, your response to me is clearly an angry response towards someone who does not wholeheartedly agree with you. Implying or downright saying I am “ignorant”, unpatriotic, or otherwise motivated is, in my opinion, unfair and unwarranted.

    I would like to address some of my issues:

    First of all, you are painting with a pretty broad brush labeling all of MPS Special Educators and Administrators as being, well, it sounds like you are saying they are all ignorant, uncaring and cruel people who only have selfish motives for doing what they do. I personally find that troubling.

    Secondly, I never said or implied your daughter was “unworthy” (your word by the way, not mine). I simply believe that the public (me and other taxpayers) are not obligated to pay for everything and anything you want for your daughter because she is autistic. We (the public) are more than willing TO HELP, but does that mean that we (the public) are responsible for footing the entire bill?

    Thirdly, before you go and get all patriotic on me and wrap yourself in the flag for defense, please know I too served my country in a time of war, but not during a particularly popular war or time. I faced death daily, as does your husband when he is in a combat arena. So do not preach to me about sacrifice. When I came home (in uniform) I was spit on in the airport and hit with a protestor’s sign and called some very insulting names. This is something your husband mostly likely did not and God willing, will never have to suffer. Nor you. Yet I am still proud to have served my country, defended the constitution and fought for YOUR right to accuse others before taking the time to consider YOU might be wrong. Just wanted to point out to you that your observations that I am rather ignorant of service, defending the constitution and serving our country are, in fact, quite wrong. Just like the old saying goes, “I may not agree with you but I will defend to the death your right to do so.”

    You sound similar to many people who have a particular, stringent, single-minded purpose. You attack people who disagree with you. I would suggest that if this is your attitude towards me, your attitude towards the professionals at MPS must be 10 times worse. As a nation we see this attitude every day: in the gay union subject, abortion, divorce, ‘
    ‘Obamacare,’ religion, education, gun ownership………need I go on? I would suggest to you Ms. Kenyon that the trust most always lies somewhere in the middle. Rarely is this world totally black and white.

    Fourthly, you say it is because of the “<<<LAWS. Real, Federal…" So that means you also support and abide by ALL of the federal, state and local laws, or like so many others, just pick and choose the ones that benefit you?

    Lastly: please re-read your post and tell me again how you do not 'resort to inflammatory language.' You have accused me of some pretty egregious thought and behavior. Please remember that everyone who disagrees with you is not your enemy. I do not wish you or your family any ill will. As a matter of fact I hope that you, your husband and children lead long, productive and fulfilling lives. And I stand willing to help in any way I can, but not necessarily in any way you see fit.

    • Rachel Kenyon

      Anonymous Concerned Taxpayer,

      I welcome all healthy discussion and valid viewpoints here, to include those that differ from my own. I am not angry at you or anyone else. I use this space that I have created to share my story. I use it to connect to other special needs families and most often my intent is to remain positive and hopeful on this journey of parenting two unique and amazing children.

      However, you have brought up several points that I do wish to counter, respectfully.

      First, I don’t paint. The broad brush of negligence that I highlight here in my dealings with the administration of MPS, I have not characterized teachers or educational professionals in general, because to the contrary I know so very many educators that are fabulous at their job. What I do specifically and with careful measure, is share the experiences we have had in advocating for what our daughter is entitled to by law.

      Manchester Public Schools pays hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Why do you think that is? Do you believe they are using your tax dollars appropriately there? I have requested these expenses to be released via the Freedom of Information Act because as a taxpayer it concerns me. I am still waiting for MPS to provide those figures.

      Yes, you (the public) ARE expected to pay for my child’s education because every child is entitled to be educated. And this to society’s benefit as a whole. Not because my child is autistic, but because she is human. Again, I will happily point out that if MPS were more effective and efficient, they would receive more funding from the state and federal government to contribute to the budget. But they are a failing district and in three of the last five years, they have failed to meet standards in education and missed out on funding. That falls directly on the shoulders of Pupil Personnel Services who are responsible for the special education of our children.

      Sir, or Ma’am, thank you for your own service to our country. I did not refer to your patriotism, I only explained my own. You mention that you therefore have fought for my own right to accuse and be wrong. Believe me when I tell you I have spent my every day compiling and documenting, researching and questioning everything I can to learn about the practices of our school district. My state complaint contained 200 pages of documentation regarding only a few incidents. That’s not fluff, that’s hard core truth.

      I have not attacked anyone personally, I am not single-minded. I am searching for truth, and equality, and for a school district to be held accountable for their mistreatment of families. Because I grew up here, I am raising my children here. I want this town to return to greatness for the good of all. That simply will not happen unless someone is willing to stand up and shine a light on the darkness of what really goes on behind closed doors.

      Sir, or Ma’am, I don’t have an attitude against you. I have no earthly idea who you are. I do have an attitude towards the school district that violates my child’s rights. Absolutely. And I back it up. Every time.

      FOURTHLY, as you say, I don’t get to pick and choose the law. But I certainly don’t mind jumping in and helping to shape it, as I have for military families. And if I have to jump in again and shape the law here in Connecticut to hold school districts more accountable to their practices of bullying parents, then I guess I will be busy for a while.

      Lastly, you are very welcome to jump in yourself and help if you truly wish to make a difference – not as I see fit – but as a Concerned Taxpayer you SHOULD know how our schools are spending their money and treating their special needs families.

      Jump right in. The water is just warming up.

  • Concerned Taxpayer

    Rachel #2, I have read and re-read your response. Yes, my response was a little more angry than what I would have like, but C’est la vie. As a matter of fact I was fairly angry in reading a pretty cruel blanket attack on the entire Special Education Department at MPS.

    I jumped to a conclusion that Ms. Kenyon (using Ms. not as a matter of disrespect, but simply because I do not know which way Ms. Kenyon would like to be addressed and Ms. is safer) wanted her daughter in a private school. I was wrong, and for that I apologize.

    Yet your response and her response are signs that this debate is not a debate at all, it is a yelling match. You choose to ‘educate’ me without knowing my background, education level or interests. You choose to chastise me for being unkind. You say I have ‘attacked’ her.

    You then in a very clear, concise and readable way talk about special education in terms that anyone can understand, explain your cogent views and experiences.

    Your post is one of opposites yet an enjoyable read. Thank you.

  • Concerned Taxpayer

    Just a point of clarification: 6th paragraph line should read “I would suggest to you Ms. Kenyon that the truth……..”

    • jojo613

      I do know Rachel personally, and I do not live in CT, but I have lived in 7 other states with my moderately autistic son (I’m also an Aspie, I have a mild form of autism). Let me tell you something. My son is 9, we moved to FL due to military orders. We were turned down for 5 different assignments due to my child’s needs. In September my son was accused of soliciting a blow job from another student. My son would just as soon talk to a wall than talk to another student. He started acting out horribly. Teacher never reported the BJ thing to anyone. 2 weeks later he banged his head 14 times against a desk. The teacher never sent him to a nurse, or contacted me. Even after he complained of not being able to see. In 6 months my son went from functioning at just below grade level to functioning lower than a 2 year old. A poor educational placement has dire consequences. As it stands, I pray he will be able to live independently and not have to rely on government assistance, but that’s a pipe dream. So please spare me your concerned citizen bs. Poor funding of special education is going to cost the citizens a whole lot more providing SSD for my son for the remainder of his life than if the school would have bucked up and paid for the education he should have received in the first place. What’s an even bigger pill to swallow is the school system my son was in spent hundreds of thousands of dollars re-landscaping. Yet they couldn’t afford educational aides…

  • Concerned Taxpayer

    Jojo, so angry! The only BS I see is from you. Have a nice day.

  • Concerned Taxpayer

    Ms. Kenyon,
    I will now, voluntarily leave your blog. It seems Jojo is quite upset, and that is not my intention. This will be the last you hear of me.

    • jojo613

      I am angry, and you should be too. We have to fight to get the minimal services for our children, we are labelled as poor parents, moochers, and worst. Then we see the school districts fund ridiculous things like new sod for a football field, new landscaping for the high school, and my daughter (gifted and talented) has gotten iPad and smart boards in her classroom, while my son is left rotting in a substandard classroom, his IEP is largely ignored, and the number of stories I could tell you are absolutely heartbreaking.

      And this is NOT just in my state, as you can see the lack of empathy and caring happens all over the US, it’s ridiculous. Congress passed IDEA and FAPE, but didn’t fund it. School districts are not funding it appropriately. In my state alone, the school district spends $75,000 a YEAR PER SPED STUDENT in litigation avoidance and lawyer retention.

      When I filed a state complaint about not following my son’s IEP. Do you know what the state did? They called my husband’s commander to try to bully us into dropping the case. The commander LAUGHED at them. They tried to get the EFMP liaison (a federal employee) fired because I filed state complaint, which is WELL within my rights.

      It will cost you LESS to allow these children to be educated with the bare minimal education to be independent living, tax paying citizens, than it will cost you to NOT fund special education. You should be very angry at your local, state, and federal governments for not appropriately funding special education, because the children who fall through the cracks, are the same people you complain about taking welfare and social security.

      THIS concerned tax payer would rather INVEST a few hundred thousand dollars in educating these children for 18 years, than invest a few MILLION dollars supporting them the rest of their lives.

  • C Mills

    Concerned taxpayer,
    Such a vehement response makes me wonder why you are so offended? Why such diebelief? Do you know every child in Manchester with special needs? Have you walked in the shoes of this family or any other that has had to advocate for their special needs child through MPS? Have you ever been to a PPT with Shelly Matfess or Linda Yoder in attendance? So because you haven’t experienced it, it doesn’t happen?

    There are so many examples of man not believing anothor’s experience throughout history. No one believed those dragged from German streets during WW2. Some people believe that 9/11 was made up by the US government. I bet there are many among us that would agree that “disbelief” can be shortsighted and ignorant. Just because you weren’t there or haven’t experienced it means it doesn’t happen?

    I assure you, not every person in Manchester is bad and I don’t see how anyone reading this blog could think that is what Mrs. Kenyon is trying to point out. I just moved out of Manchester after 5 years of harrassment by Shelly Matfess and Linda Yoder. I have the tapes and emails to prove it. I would be thrilled to have someone give me the opportunity to present this truth,

    You should be concerned, taxpayer. You should be concerned that if children like the Kenyon’s child and my child are harrassed out of the FREE APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION they are entitled to then we all pay for them when they are adults who went without treatment. My son goes to RM’s PUBLIC school because I drained our savings and quit my job to get him in and keep him in. For you, concerned tax payer, I advocated for this treatment so every taxpayer WON’T have to pay for his care as an adult. I would love for you to use your passion and voice to tell the stories and truths of all people who live what the Kenyons and others do. Maybe you are so angry because it strikes a nerve, which is great, maybe you can use that passion to learn all about differnt experiences, not just the ones your deem at the truth

  • rita cirnuigliaro

    Dear Rachel,
    I am a grandmother of 13 grandchildren, My family is very lucky to all have healthy children with no problems. As a citizen of the united states, I want to thank you for all YOU AND YOUR FAMILY do without while your husband is making this country a safe pace for my family and others to live in peace.

    I feel the government does NOT DO ENOUGH for the handicap children in this country, but instead give money to 3rd world countries to feed people. I think we have lost sight of who comes first- take care of out own before caring for others-
    Please continue your fight and know I AM AS OTHERS IN YOUR CORNER
    CORDIALLY
    RITA CIRNIGLIARO

  • Amanda

    If only more taxpayers were concerned about how much of their money is being wasted on lawyer fees because schools aren’t following the law. Not even in cases where parents are asking for the world, just for some basic services their children need to catch and/or keep up with their peers. I bet it would be astounding the amount of money our schools would have to spend on the education of ALL of our children if they would just do what’s right in the first place and stop paying to spend the lawyer fees and time fighting the law.

    Breaking the law is why our district is now paying 80% of the funding they receive to a cyber charter school for my children. You see in my state, I’m fortunate enough to have the choice, along with EVERY parent, to pull my children and send them to such a program at this expense to our home district without any sort of due process. The schools are now crying poor and want legislation to de-fund these cyber schools. Why? Because so many parents have seen the benefit of the cyber schools – not just special needs parents. Our educational system as a whole, across the country, is severely broken in so many ways.

  • Rachel Kenyon

    As always, my sincerest appreciation to all who come here and listen, learn, and pay it forward.

  • In the Land of Oz | StimCity

    […] But in the end, it took only a few emails and a bucket of water. […]

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