Thursday, May 11, 2017

Policy, Funding, Summer Camp, Achievers, More

SPECIAL ED FUNDING. Yesterday the Council for Exceptional Children provided details of special ed funding for 2017. As we mentioned previously, the overall level is up slightly. You can see how each major program fared at the CEC's Policy Insider. Also noted there: that Javits programs for gifted ed were funded at $12 million -- which is about the level of funding 13 years ago when we founded 2e Newsletter. Is that great progress or what?

ON THE OTHER HAND, an article by the Associated Press highlights the conflict between parents looking to have school districts satisfy the special needs of their children and districts facing funding constraints. While some recent court decisions have raised hopes in parents about getting services such as district-paid private placement, the reality is that schools have limited money available, including, as the article puts it, "a shortfall in federal reimbursement." The costs of disputes run into tens of thousands of dollars for both districts and parents. If you're anticipating participation in a school/family dispute over services, check out this article.

MIXED MESSAGES on special ed and family rights is also the topic of an article at Educaiton Week, which describes how one government proposal would allocate $1.4 billion toward school choice yet require participating families to give up some their IDEA rights. Here's the crux of the problem, according to the article: "While the Supreme Court’s decision affirms long-standing momentum toward better educational support for children with disabilities, the administration’s actions to date have done little to ensure schools are positioned to maintain this progress." Read more.

ON TO MORE MORE PLEASANT MATTERS. LD Online offers tips for c hoosing a summer camp for a child with learning differences. A former director of such a camp tells parents to look at six factors, including the type of program, size, education/recreational balance, location and facilities, staff, and camp policies. Find out more.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES. We mentioned on May 3 that this organization had announced the recipients of the 2017 Fred J. Epstein Youth Achievement Awards. Reading about the honorees in various categories can give you -- or that 2e kiddo you know -- new perspective about achievement in conjunction with learning differences. Find the announcement.

SLOW PROCESSING SPEED. Last week the website Understood offered accommodations for slow processing speed. This week it offers an article connecting slow processing speed with anxiety. The article notes that anxiety can affect processing speed... but that slow processing speed can also engender anxiety -- not a pretty cycle. Read more.

TiLT PARENTING. Moms and dads often often approach their 2e family situations differently and at a different pace. But it's important for the parents to work together for the benefit of the child, right? That's why it's interesting that TiLT has done a podcast on the topic -- specifically, how the founder of TiLT and her husband have approached raising their "differently-wired" son. As founder Debbie Reber says, "...figuring how to be a good partner while raising an atypical kid can be incredibly challenging, especially because both people are going through their own individual process in figuring it out." Read more and find the podcast.

ALTSCHOOL is the name of a chain of micro-schools with locations in California and New York. Founded by Silicon Valley denizens, the schools emphasize personalized learning. According to an article at Business Insider, "Teachers work with families and students to design a set of goals for the learner based on the student's interests, likes, strengths, and weaknesses." Neither the word "gifted" nor "twice-exceptional" is in the article -- but the school's goals sound promising. Read more.

AND FINALLY, THIS, which makes sense intuitively but is now "research based": Pet dogs provide valuable social support for kids when they're stressed, according to a study by researchers, who were among the first to document stress-buffering effects of pets for children. Find a study write-up.

No comments: