Special Education – The Law is on Your Side

Help is available– and the law is on your side. Its promise is simple: Every child counts. Every child is entitled to an education. Every eligible child with a disability is entitled to a “special” education – one that confers “meaningful benefits.” That is what Congress has said. That is what the United States Supreme Court has said.

The law protects every child. The law protects you as your child’s parent.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP) – Every special-education student must have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) developed by a team that includes parents, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals. An IEP establishes educational goals and describes the special services that will be provided to the student.

Due Process – Special-Education law provides many due-process hearing and appeal procedures.
“Section 504″Classroom accommodations are available to many students (K-12 and college) who have disabilities.

There are only five modes of communication that can lead to a disability; they are auditory, visual, verbal, nonverbal and tactical communication.

If your child’s disability is affecting their education, they may be eligible to receive services under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973. The IDEA requires public schools to locate and identify children with disabilities who may need specialized education. These children must “have available” to them a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs” 20 U.S.C. sec. 140(d). Children with disabilities must “to the maximum extent appropriate [be] educated with children who are not disabled” 20 U.S. C. 1412 (e)(5).

Many parents find themselves in a situation where their child is either struggling academically or having discipline problems in school. Often times, there maybe an unidentified disability causing these problem. If they do have a disability that is negatively affecting their education, they would likely benefit from special education services.

Special Education services may include:
Occupational therapy
Speech and language therapy
Resource specialist programs
Modification of the regular education programs
Special day classes
Non-public schools
Residential treatment, and many more.

If you believe your child will benefit from special education services call a professional. Your child only goes through their education process once, so give your child the best chance for the future by making sure they have the type of education that helps them learn and succeed. Nothing is more important to their future.

Starting a Side Business to Supplement Your Income

There are many ways of earning extra money. In some cases, people lose their jobs and it becomes survival money. All of the ideas that follow offer potentially good opportunities to earn some extra cash. Many are perfect for young people just starting out or looking to do something during their summer vacations.

Volunteering
Work at a place that might have job opportunities for you e.g. a seniors center, hospital, golf course, etc. Meet a lot of people and network. They know people who know people and so on. The volunteering can also be personally enriching. Make suggestions for jobs you see need doing e.g. teaching the elderly how to use a computer.

Garage sales
Recycling and reusing are not dirty words! There is a ton of stuff out on garbage night that could be picked up that is still useful. If cleaned up or slightly repaired it is potentially worth lots of money e.g. picture frames, small furniture, sports equipment, cutlery and dinnerware, glass & pottery, jewelry, books, computer parts, etc. Once you get good at it and know prices, start going to garage sales and buy stuff that can be resold at a higher price at your own regular garage sales or at used goods shops.

Resell to Dealers
Flea market sellers, antique dealers, and consignment stores are only a few of the people who survive on the sale of used goods.

– TV’s that people throw out can be worth about $10-$20 each to repair people who are always on the lookout.
– bikes can be sold to bike repair people and/or used sports equipment dealers. The going rate is anywhere from $10 and up. If they can be fixed at home, they can sell privately. Older “antique” bikes are often highly desirable. Ads in the paper and Buy & Sell type magazines should clear them out quickly for you.
– dehumidifiers and humidifiers can be sold to businesses that repair and sell them. If somebody is handy, it is usually easy to repair many dehumidifiers as the only thing wrong with many of them is a seized motor. A little oil and a few spins and it often works again, no problem. In the summer they sell for about $50-$60 if in good working condition.

Think of all the university student rooms and apartments that need a humidifier in the winter.

Sports Equipment
There is a lot of money in sports equipment. Ice skates, roller blades, snowboards, skateboards, etc. Get familiar with what used goods stores want and buy up newer models at yard/garage sales, estate sales, church rummage sales, etc. Sell them to “Play It Again Sports” stores. It is possible to find them all year for about $2-$10 and you can get $15-$25 or more for them at the stores. It is very easy to build up credits and then buy your own new sports equipment at minimum cost. In many cases, it is also possible to get cash for the equipment. Make sure there are no breaks or missing parts. It has to be flawless for safety reasons.

Door-to-door Selling
Find a product that could easily be sold door to door e.g. economy size boxes of saran wrap, garbage bags, deodorizers, etc. Something small and useful that everybody uses all the time. A novelty toy sold to kids in tourist districts is good too. Be alert and cautious when doing this!

Used Paperbacks and Novels
Check with used book dealers first to see how much they pay for them – usually from 25 cents and up. Also find out which books they find most desirable. Go to garage sales and buy them for about 10-15 cents each or cheaper. Some dealers also sell old magazines. Again, first find out which ones are most desirable. Check out garage sales and especially rummage sales at churches or schools for books. Although small, profit can be at least 50% or better.

Yard Work
If you have fairly good tools, cut lawns, rake areas, etc. Gotta do a good job though!!

Useful Services
Look for needs in parking lots, parks, busy streets, in grocery stores, etc. Walking dogs, watering plants regularly in somebody’s yard, doing the edge trimming work around lawns ((I’m sure there are people who dislike that job as much as I do and would pay a kid to do it) One young girl was paid $15/hr to watch a company machine seal envelopes. They couldn’t afford to not have anybody there if it jammed.

Garage Door Art
Imagine all the plain, unattractive “canvasses” attached to almost every house just waiting to be covered. Offer to put on large house numbers, pleasant abstract patterns or landscapes. Match or extend the painting to a nearby garden or walkway. With a few cans of paint, brushes and imagination, you can be making $100 or more per garage door.

Porch Rail Painting
Ever notice all the rusty porch railings in your neighborhood? With minimum investment of a few basic colors of rust-proof paint, a wire brush, metal sandpaper and some good small hairy roller brushes, you could make a lot of money sprucing them up.

As you read through the article, there will be triggers for other ideas. if you can’t use them, pass them on to others.

Education Law – What You Need to Know

If you’re involved in any aspect of education, from teaching to recruitment, then you’ll need to be aware of education law, and the areas it covers.

1. Education establishments are just accountable as other organisations, and need to adhere to rules and guidelines in the same way.

2. You’ll need to make sure that your school, college, university or other educational establishment complies with all the relevant laws and government policies. Having an education law expert to help you will make a big difference, and can ensure that you’re not acting illegally.

3. You’re probably used to dealing with suppliers for everything from catering and stationery to IT and the maintenance of the grounds. Are you using a specialist in education law to make sure that the contracts art legal, and that you’re getting the best deals and service?

4. Pupil discipline is becoming more of an issue in many schools. Although to may be tempting to introduce your own forms of punishment, you’ll need to make sure that you stay well within the law, to avoid possible disciplinary action yourself.

5. Some schools, colleges and universities receive charitable donations or funding. You’ll need to make sure that all the paperwork is in order that everything complies with the relevant charity laws.

6. If you’re involved in estate management for as school or college, then your job could entail buying or selling land, and hiring contractors. You’ll want to make sure that you get the best deals and service, and that agreements are adhered to minimize disruption to all concerned.

7. Although you work in education, construction, planning and environmental laws still apply. If you’re considering expanding your premises, or building new departments or adding additional facilities, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got the relevant planning permission and your plans don’t fall foul of any laws.

8. Employment law still applies, so you’ll want to make sure that there are no issues regarding bullying or harassment at work, or discrimination on any grounds. You’ll need to make sure that you’re up to date with all relevant guidelines and changes, so that you’re not acting illegally.

9. Your recruitment process will also be subjected to the same sort of laws as other industries. You might need to carry out additional checks too, so an education law expert can prove invaluable.

10. Health and Safety both at school, and on educational trips, is often mentioned in the media. No matter whether you think the rules and regulations are too strict, you still have to comply with them in order to protect your pupils and staff.

Now you know more about it, perhaps now is the time for an Education Law Expert to help you.

No Child Left Behind Education Law to Be Revamped?

In 2002, when the “No Child Left Behind” education act was passed it was for educational reform targeted to change the use of Federal funds to close the achievement gap and improve the achievement levels of America’s students. The Federal funding required states to fund their own expenses in order to adhere to the law and gain the Federal monies.

Between 1965 and 2001, $120 billion a year in Federal dollars was allotted to close the achievement gap between rich and poor. Yet, today, we see this gap growing wider.

Now legislators are calling for a revamping of the law in order to make it more flexible and effective.

With 70% of inner city fourth graders unable to read at a basic level on national reading tests, concerns are being raised. Since our high school seniors trail students in Cyprus, China and South Africa on international math tests, educators are seeking ways to ameliorate those statistics for America. Nearly a third of students entering colleges and universities today are required to take remedial classes before they can even begin to participate in regular college courses.

So what is the hope of advocates of the “No Child Left Behind” law? The objective is the same as it was a decade ago. The methods, however, are now in question. How to make educators and school districts accountable for their performance is a mammoth undertaking. With states, like Texas, reducing state funds to schools, the problem of student achievement is increasingly frightening.

Teachers and schools are already burdened with the task of meeting high expectations for educators and more and more involved curricula. Frankly, teachers and schools need tons of assistance that is going to be missed when teachers, teacher assistants and whoever is considered “non-essential staff” are let go because of lack of funding.

One giant contribution which Americans can make toward improving the achievement of our students is by volunteering in the schools. Volunteerism, by its nature, is the giving of oneself, one’s talents and time. That is a service that cannot be legislated. Willing service from those who are equipped to offer it is the component that is embarrassingly missing in Elementary and Secondary Education in America today.

American adults have the ability to contribute and make a positive impact on children’s education. Teachers and Administrators need our help. Students who are “at risk” desperately need our help.

You’ve heard that old idealism ” If I can make a difference in the life of just one child…” Well, we can. It is not so difficult. In working with a Third Grader at a nearby Elementary School, I got a real kick out of his response to a simple suggestion aimed at reducing his obvious stress as he viewed a full page of text his teacher gave him to read. I just asked him to go the second page and read the questions first. Then I showed him how he could scan the passage for keywords that would lead him to the correct answers.

The passage was in the format used for the achievement test mandated by the state of Texas. He has to be able to manage that format in order to be successful. That little boy was thrilled and completed the assignment independently and with enthusiasm. We were both pleased. His teacher was relieved to know that he could work independently. After all, she has a lot of other students for whom she is accountable and she wants each of them to be successful.

Whether or not the “No Child Left Behind” education law remains a Federally funded initiative and is extended by the next school year, our help as educated adults may be crucial to students’ futures.

That tutoring session was just 45 minutes long. The student’s confidence in his abilities is growing exponentially. Volunteerism certainly is a “win-win” process! Try it. Help out in America’s mission to improve students’ achievement.

Special Education Laws, Impacts

Special education laws have had a substantial impact on bilingual special education. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), originally passed in 1975 and reauthorized in 2004, governs special education services in public schools. The law protects the rights of students with disabilities and their families and tries to ensure that ELLs are assessed fairly. The law includes numerous provisions outlined below.

1. Informed consent: Schools must obtain written informed consent from parents or guardians to evaluate a student. Parents must be fully informed of their rights, any records to be released and to whom, and the nature and purpose of the evaluation. Parents or guardians must be informed in their native language or primary mode of communication.

2. Multidisciplinary team: Students should be assessed by a team of professionals with varied areas of expertise according to the student’s individuals needs. The team should include at least one general education teacher and one special education teacher. For English language learners, the team should include someone with expertise in the language acquisition process.

3. Comprehensive evaluation: Before an initial placement, the multidisciplinary team must conduct a complete assessment in all areas of suspected disability. No single procedure can be used as the sole criterion for determining an appropriate educational program for a child. Alternative procedures should be used when standardized tests are not considered appropriate (e.g., with culturally and linguistically diverse students). A comprehensive evaluation should include an analysis of the instructional setting and the child’s instructional history.

4. Exclusionary criteria: A student should not be labeled if the academic struggles are primarily the result of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage. IDEA 2004 adds that a child should not be found to have a disability if the determinant factor is poor instruction in reading or math, or limited English proficiency.

5. Nondiscriminatory assessment: Assessments should be (a) selected and administered so as not to be racially or culturally discriminatory; (b) provided and administered in the child’s native language or other mode of communication and in the form most likely to yield accurate information on what the child knows and can do academically, developmentally, and functionally, unless it is clearly not feasible; (c) used for the purposes for which the assessments are valid and reliable; (d) administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel; and (e) administered in accordance with any instructions provided by the producer of the assessments.