MSW Blog

Testing Makes McKay Scholarships Accountable to Parents – a post from the redefinED Blog

In Robyn Rennick’s post on Florida’s McKay Scholarships for Students With Disabilities last week, she argued that standardized testing measures are “inappropriate,” even “cruel,” for disabled children due to their diverse levels of achievement and in some cases immeasurable levels of progress. But this assumes that standardized testing is a “one size fits all” accountability measure. In reality, there are dozens, even hundreds, of standardized assessments that are designed for every segment of the student population – whether children are learning self-care or calculus.  The choice of test can be left to the private school, not the state. More importantly, standardized testing is perhaps the only way [...]

Testing Makes McKay Scholarships Accountable to Parents – a post from the redefinED Blog2020-04-15T03:34:08+00:00

Can the ADA Help Your Child in School? Yes, Now More Than Ever!

If you're reading this blog, you've probably heard of the ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act – that’s the landmark piece of civil rights 1990 legislation which requires wheelchair accessible bathrooms, for instance.  But what you may not know is whether the ADA applies to your disabled child in school.  You'd think it would, right?  But then, why does everyone talk about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) all the time?  Well, Title II of the ADA does apply to your disabled child in school.  Not just with respect to students with physical disabilities in wheelchairs, but also to [...]

Can the ADA Help Your Child in School? Yes, Now More Than Ever!2020-04-15T03:18:03+00:00

Make School Work for Your Child

Did you ever wish you had someone to sit on your side of the table? Not just a lawyer.  Not just someone with first-hand experience teaching kids with disabilities.  But also a passionate advocate for your child's needs.  Well, you've finally found me.  Allison Hertog, the firm founder, is one of only a handful of lawyers in the country who has a Masters degree in Special Education. I founded Making School Work, P.L. because I struggled throughout my school years with multiple undiagnosed learning disabilities. I was retained in second grade and my disabilities were not accommodated nor even understood until [...]

Make School Work for Your Child2019-01-21T09:53:21+00:00

Miami-Dade School District Cut ESE Funding by Over $46 Million, Broward – $32 Million!

If you've heard your child's teachers complaining more than ever about scarce classroom resources - or worse, your child has lost classroom support, such as a paraprofessional or an extra teacher - there's a reason.  The most recent data gathered by Washington, DC - based Advocacy Institute shows that Miami-Dade Public School District has cut special ed funding by over $46 million dollars!  And Broward by over $32 million.  In my work I've seen some kids with Autism or severe ADHD being placed in classrooms with intellectually disabled kids because it's cheaper than giving them the support they're entitled to [...]

Miami-Dade School District Cut ESE Funding by Over $46 Million, Broward – $32 Million!2020-04-15T03:19:30+00:00

McKay Scholarship Expansion – 504 Plans Can Get $ for Private School

If your disabled child has a written school plan giving him or her accommodations (called a "504 Plan"),  that plan can translate into a dollar amount, and you can use that money to pay for private school tuition.  Governor Scott signed a new law expanding the McKay Scholarship program to cover students with 504 Plans, and that law goes into effect on July 1, 2011.  Prior to this expansion, only children with Individual Education Plans ("IEPs") were eligible for the McKay Scholarship.  504 Plans are named after the law which authorizes them - Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of [...]

McKay Scholarship Expansion – 504 Plans Can Get $ for Private School2020-04-15T03:33:08+00:00

Gov Christ Signs Law on Restraint and Seclusion of Students with Disabilities

On June 4, Gov Charlie Christ signed into law the state’s first regulations for the use of restraint and seclusion on public school students with disabilities. The law requires that a school prepare an incident report within a specified period after each occasion of student restraint or seclusion and that the school notify the student's parent or guardian if manual physical restraint or seclusion is used. It also prohibits school employees from using certain types of restrictions and restraints. These include forbidding a mechanical or manual restraint that restricts breathing, and prohibiting school employees from locking a disabled student in [...]

Gov Christ Signs Law on Restraint and Seclusion of Students with Disabilities2020-04-15T03:21:57+00:00

BREAKING NEWS – FL Will Pay for Private PreK Therapies

Yesterday Governor Crist signed into law what appears to be an extraordinary program for disabled prekindergarten children beginning with the 2012-13 school year.  The details are not clear yet, but here's the deal in brief. If your disabled child will be 4 years old by September 1, 2012 and he or she gets an Individualized Education Plan ("IEP"), which includes "specialized instructional services" (For example, ABA therapy, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy), Florida will reimburse the private therapy provider for a set number of therapy hours.  In other words, beginning in 2012 the State of Florida will reimburse certain therapists for [...]

BREAKING NEWS – FL Will Pay for Private PreK Therapies2020-04-15T03:23:04+00:00

Are You an Extreme Chooser? (How Far Would You Go to Find the Right School?)

Most parents are advocates of school choice -whether we identify ourselves that way or not.  We would choose to send our children to the best school in our neighborhood over the one which was just simply around the corner, that is, if we could.  Upper middle class parents routinely choose to buy homes in neighborhoods where the schools are superior - that was the earliest, and is still the most common, form of school choice. Parents of children with special needs have been called "extreme choosers" when it comes to finding the right school for their child.  That's because their [...]

Are You an Extreme Chooser? (How Far Would You Go to Find the Right School?)2020-04-15T04:38:20+00:00

Transition to the “Real” World from FL Public Schools (in a bleak economy no less)

The IEP meetings are crucial for not only diploma planning, but also for transition planning and career preparation. Good transition goals in the IEP (which are critical years prior to high school graduation) can include workplace experiences that help students learn about employment settings and vocational opportunities and specific plans for developing self-determination skills. IDEA requires that in addition to parents, the student, and school personnel, the other agency representatives that are likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services must participate in the meetings. Outside agency representatives may include: vocational rehabilitation counselors, county social workers, secondary [...]

Transition to the “Real” World from FL Public Schools (in a bleak economy no less)2020-04-15T01:49:08+00:00

What’s New in Schools? – It’s Called RtI

Starting now it will be much harder (in fact, I think nearly impossible in Florida)to get your learning disabled ("LD") child special education services. That said, special ed services historically haven't helped LD kids very much. So, let's hope these changes are all for the good. Children with behavior problems may not receive special ed services as easily as before either.

What’s New in Schools? – It’s Called RtI2009-09-09T08:40:50+00:00

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