Thursday, September 15, 2005

Special-ed staffing nonsense

Honestly, wouldn't you think that the special education department of a largish school district would at the very least want to be organized? Or at least look organized? I'm dealing with ongoing 1-on-1 aide nonsense with my son, and so far every skirmish, every misunderstanding, every angry phone call, could have been easily avoided with the simple provision of a list to the school administration of which kids need aides and which aides have been assigned to them. Yet such a piece of paper does not seem to be forthcoming. I've been stonewalled, and I've sat in the principal's office listening on speakerphone while he was stonewalled. I've escalated my phone manner from apologetic to polite to firm to livid, and we still don't seem to have an answer. All of which leads me to believe that either 1) There is no such list, and they're just throwing people wherever somebody's yelling for one; 2) There is a list, but it has such significant problems that they don't want anybody looking at it; or 3) They have a list and could provide it but prefer to play political games with handicapped children. That third possibility is scary, but would at least indicate that somebody has a plan. Honestly, though, I think the answer is probably #1, and that's just inexcusable. It's not like a truckload of children needing aides suddenly enrolled in the district on September 1; we're not in Baton Rouge. They've known about these needs since the spring. How is it possible that no firm and comprehensive staffing plan was made? I'm sympathetic to the challenges of managing a large number of cases with multiple service needs across a large number of schools, but wouldn't that make you want to be more organized?

I guess I should just shut up and be grateful that nobody thought I was a child today.

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