My First Parent: Special Ed-Conomics


I am very nervous. I am about to meet my very first parent of one of my special ed students.

I have worked almost 8 hours preparing for my first “IEP” conference—a time when the teacher assesses and reports on the Special Education child’s progress toward the goals which were set months earlier. The conference takes place with the principal, assistant principal, psychologist, nurse, teacher, and parent.

I carefully and slowly explain each point to the mom, waiting while my words are translated into Spanish. She remains silent during the entire report, even when asked for input. When I finish, I ask her again, “Do you have any questions for us at all?”

Well, yes, as a matter of fact, she does:

“Can I get extra money from the state because I have another one of my children in Special Ed?”

That’s all she wants to know. Not “How can I help my daughter?”, or “Isn’t there more YOU could do to help my daughter?”

I learn that this mom has eight older children, all of whom were labeled Special Ed and all of whom are serving time in prison. (No—I am not making this up.) I also learn that, yes indeed, when a parent is on welfare, the state gives extra money for each child labeled “Special Ed”.

I don’t want to think what I’m thinking. But I bet you are thinking it too.
 

Special Ed Versus Regular Ed Spending Pie Chart

How Many Kids FIT On That Special Bus?


 
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44 Comments

  1. This is beyond sad and upsetting. And some wonder why teachers leave the profession in droves.

    And how does one end up with eight children in prison? You would have thought that with our justice system at least one of her kids would have slipped through the cracks and been able to continue “sticking it to the man.”

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Ha ha ha! Well, I could insinuate the elder ones might have been affected by the non-parenting non-nurturing role this particular parent may have taken purposely in assisting her children to achieve their special school status in order to increase the family’s–or only the mommy’s–economic…”security”.

      But that would be rude.

      I saw very little evidence of parenting in my 4 years 11 months in that neighborhood–parenting meaning “No means no”, whining does not bring rewards, there are negative consequences at home for poor–even violent–behavior outside the home. There was a great deal of parental respect, or “who cares?” for fighting–and winning, of course. Even if the fighting occurred at school, and school folk said “Bad!”. There were few families who applied negative consequences at home for poor academic effort. By “few”, I am talking 1 or 2 parents out of my 30-35 a year (or 13, the first year). There WERE expectations: That girls help with siblings, that boys excel at sports. That children don’t bother their fathers while dining or drunk. Basic life rules EVERYONE knows.

      I DID see families loving their children (and buying them every single thing the kids wanted and the parents could manage).

      With this family, though, and some others, no love was evident. And we have plenty of studies from scientists who had no problem being cruel to monkeys to show us what happens when a monkey is raised loveless. Most of us have big problems.

      –One of Those Monkeys

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Paul

     /  2015/01/28

    Holy spajolie, those financials are mind blowing OB. C’est incroyable. That as a small sub-group, special ed takes almost double the total regular school budget, really high lights the problem the state is struggling with. I wasn’t aware.

    That is a very telling intervew, for many reasons, that you described OB. Sigh. So many special needs children in one family. Everthing about this post blows me away.

    Thank you so much for sharing and for the blood sweat and tears you invested in your job OB.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Paul, thank you, and I accept your thanks, but there are people who do and did this for YEARS. I do not know how. I met a remarkably large number of them in the TINY time I did it–I stayed in Special Ed for only part of my five years teaching–and a depressingly large number of them told me that they had suffered nervous breakdowns in their early years in the field. No surprise. Another significant number, in my opinion, were “bench warmers”–burned out, helping children very little, and Administration knew and didn’t care, because they didn’t care about the kids.

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  3. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is shocking, disturbing, and disgusting. How on earth have we let things get this bad?

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  4. M-R

     /  2015/01/28

    I suspect I am, OB … 😐

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  5. Margaret-Rose, with the games some parents are now playing, they don’t make busses (double ss intended) big enough.

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  6. How’d that mother stay on the outside, Babe? So sad and infuriating all wrapped up in one big mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Almost everything about my five years of teaching in public school was infuriating. The teachers who left my sons’ parochial school for the public school system would up coming back, telling us “It’s a waste of time to try teaching out there.”

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      Reply
      • That is so worrisome, Babe. Really.

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        Reply
        • Sorry, Mark. It’s the truth. It’s not that I wasn’t successful at teaching my students. I was. I was kinda awesome, eventually. It’s that I…”saved”, possibly, three a year. And that next year, it is unlikely all three remained so. These posts are all gonna be pretty grim. Just truth, and nuthin’ but the truth.

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          • Sometimes the truth really hurts, Babe.

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            Reply
            • Yeah, I probably won’t pull up my stats with any of THESE posts, huh?

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            • You might start some verbal warfare. It could be a hot topic.

              Liked by 1 person

            • I wish it WOULD become a hot topic, whether from my posts unlikely–low readership PLUS the newbie error I just discovered this eve: my Train post had some links that are dogging the entire web down, apparently–anyone going to my Home page has time to wait for a train : ) –or anyone’s.

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            • I link to stuff all the time. What train link bogged your home page down? Curious.

              I’m surprised you say you have low readership. Your posts rock, Babe.

              Liked by 1 person

            • You are the third person today to praise my writing, sir. I am feeling pleased, honored, humbled, happy…

              Thank you, Mark. Maybe tonight, I can sleep without that bite guard : )

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            • Go for it, Babe. Au naturel. 😮

              Liked by 1 person

            • BTW, I am guessing it’s a link. All I can tell is it’s the train post, and no pics are humongous, and that’s the first post I’ve outlinked from in ages, so… I’ll track it down later. Too tired to do anything except fun stuff now.

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            • The way WordPress reacts sometimes is a mystery, and I’m one month away from my two-year anniversary of my blog, Babe. When I think I know why things are acting as they do, it turns out I don’t. Intuitively, yeah, if the link you connected to is in someway baulky, that may be the culprit. But who the heck knows. I am a one of those who started wrting stories on a manual typewriter. 🙂

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            • Good morning, Mark! I give up. I can’t track (heh-heh) it down. I’m not even sure it’s solely that post. I just know that the blog now seriously dogs it, and it didn’t before. I have a super-slow connection at home, and it really shows here. On my phone, all is great.

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            • It could be your computer, not your blog, Babe. Is it doing it to everybody’s home page, or just your’s?

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            • Logical Q, but it’s my blog and not others’, and new behavior vs. past. I can’t do side-by-side compare–Oh, wait: Yes–I can! Good idea, Mark. I can at least find that much out. But for slow connections, def. doggy. Although…I’m not at home but will recheck later: Now that the train post is scrolled off the Home screen, I think, by the new post, the dogginess may be doggone. : )

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            • I am very glad to be your talking pal for this, Babe. We gotta get the dogginess off the home page.

              Liked by 1 person

            • LOL!!!

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            • I laughed so hard because of the end of the current post…

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            • Thank you for what is clearly your thoughtfulness in making suggestions to help!

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  7. Well crafted to juxtapose and expose the futility. It is amazing that you could stay rational. How did you do it? I bet Octo-mom learned to be apathetic as a means of self preservation. In some cultures children were/are still sold into slavery for the money, so selling out to the system doesn’t seem a stretch. It’s just a different type of slavery, as you well witnessed.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Did I stay rational? Per my children, I was literally insane back then. Was this so, or is this them believing what my ex told them, and seeing me through his eyes lies? (Who can say but God?)

      I did show up each day and perform more and more ably as a teacher even while I became more and more ill over the course of five years (4 yrs. 10 1/2 mos.). That does sound insane, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • Yes it does and that’s why you left it. I don’t know how my brother has done it for 30 years.

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        • I left because I became disabled. I developed Behcet’s sores in my first weeks of teaching. In my third year, I was diagnosed. In my fifth year, I could not continue. Otherwise, I would have most likely worked myself to death. I was working myself to death.

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          • BTW, I don’t know how your brother has done it, either. Please tell him thank you from me, and that I admire him.

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          • Sorry to hear that, on both the Behcet’s and the overwork. Both not good. Hope the B is under some control.

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            • Oh, yes. I am not blind, for instance, We in North America are extremely lucky in that. I am unlucky in that I have CNS involvement, so I am an idiot from it, but I was a bit off before. The worst symptoms in terms of quality of life were the vag sores, and they are entirely gone since forever (thank you, God).

              If I never told people I had illnesses, they would never know it. I look extremely healthy and (more so below the neck) younger than I am. Only those who know me well know when I am hurting, or see when I have trouble holding the steering wheel, or whatever. As long as I don’t work more than 3-4 hours a day, I stay healthy, with few flares.

              I am sorry about your out-of-step self. My children knew that whenever Mommy wanted to get creative, she would stay up at night–that’s when I felt/feel creative energy flow. But if I haven’t slept during the day…So if you have a regular day job… you poor person.

              Liked by 1 person

    • Dang it: Thank you for that “well-crafted”, Stephanie! I am such a … sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • No worries, you are just tired, that’s allowed 🙂

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        • Ha ha ha! If you subscribed to comments for this blog, you would see that I am “just tired” in that particular way all the time, apparently. It’s a terrible habit of mine to skate past compliments. I definitely DO absorb them, and appreciate them, but my mind is not multi-tasking, it is LIFO.

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          • Funny, I’m just tired all the time too, so I fully completely understand and why I said you are allowed. I have that dang delayed sleep phase disorder syndrome thing which is becoming an increasing problem to defeat. I used to be able to will myself to function, but alas I am losing the battle. Best if I become a vampiress, I guess.

            Liked by 1 person

            Reply
            • Tsk! Please: “Vampiress” is antiquated sexist term. Vee say genderless “wampire” regardless vether man or voman.

              Liked by 1 person

            • I just read up on DPSD—good grief, is THAT why I’m happiest then?! I’m at my most creative then?! If only, if only…

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            • Notice how I expressed not one iota of sympathy for you. It’s all about me.

              Like

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