I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
I was recently sent the following link and I was asked my thoughts.
The title surprised me a little: Schools Slow to Take Special Education Stimulus Money. In my years of being a part of the developmental disability community as a parent, one of the main issues that I hear about is that parents are constantly told that while their idea may be a good one for the child, the school just can not fit the project in their budget. Unfortunately, many parents then let the issue die. As I have written before, my wife and I have worked with the Cudahy School District and we have received a majority of the things we have asked for over the years. Maybe not the first year, but my wife asks year after year, we do not let the issue die.
As I went on to the actual article http://www.denverpost.com/technology/ci_15493941, I got a better understanding of what the story was about. I completely understand the need for caution when taking the funds to pay salaries, once the funds dry up, then it will be up to the school district(ultimately the tax payers) to pay up to retain the teachers or programs.
I have been an advocate for schools to spend the money to give our kids a high quality education. Every student needs this education. Whether it is extra aids for special education students or extra classes for gifted and talanted. We must ensure that our kids are getting the necessary tools to succeed. In this day and age, even highly educated people are looking for work. I remember being told that I would need a college degree to get a good job. I obtained that degree but now I am looking for work. So I guess that a college education does not ensure a good paying job anymore. But a solid education is still needed.
As part of the story, I asked Cudahy Superintendent Jim Heiden if they were applying for the funds. Here is what he told me:
"We have incorporated the funds as appropriate. We too have stayed away from using it to keep staff employed. We have used it to hire several people to do specialty projects - Title 1 Math at CHS, Title 1 Math at CMS are two examples. These are areas where our kids need additional help. If the "projects" are successful we will figure out how to fund them when the money is gone."
Hope this helps.
I am glad to see that the Cudahy School District has been on top of the available funds.
Shame on any school district that is not looking out for the students that they are supposed to serve.