Sunday, August 02, 2009

Did You Expect Something Different?

As I mentioned in the Statesman Journal a few months back, closing the school for the Blind was a bad idea from the beginning. The money saved by the sale will be gone in no time, while these blind students will be left with the same education in public schools that brought them to the OSB in the first place.

As a reader of this article who goes by the handle of Blazerfan74 says in response to it... "I agree completely. As a special education teacher, I can attest to the fact that I, and pretty much all of my colleagues, would be ill-equipped to provide the services a student like this would require. This move by the state is a huge mistake. I hope this student nails the state in due process."

Now, a student/family is challenging this decision. I too hope they kick the state's hiney. From the AP...

Student challenges closure of blind school

by The Associated Press

Friday July 31, 2009,

SALEM -- A student has filed a legal complaint with the state Department of Education that says the Oregon School for the Blind must remain open to comply with federal special education laws.

The student, who lives in the North Clackamas School District, says in the complaint she will not receive an adequate education after the Salem boarding school closes in September.

It is the first such complaint since state lawmakers voted in June to close the school that has been operating since the 19th century.

Supporters of the closure said students will get a better education for less money in their home districts. The student, however, contends in her complaint that the new individual education plan she has been offered by the North Clackamas school district is unacceptable because it offers fewer hours and fewer types of specialized instruction.

The complaint requests that the student continue at the Oregon School for the Blind until a resolution in reached. The school, on eight acres near Salem Hospital, could be sold after it closes Sept. 1.

Federal education law entitles students to continue to receive the same educational services as they had under a previous individual education plan until a dispute over a new plan can be settled.

Jake Weigler, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Education, said nothing about the complaint would require keeping the state school open. "The (education plan) outlines the services that are to be provided, but not necessarily the location," Weigler said.

He said the state will try to mediate a solution acceptable to the family and the school district before ordering a formal hearing. Possible solutions include having the school district provide more services, having some services provided by another source or placing the student in a residential school for the blind in another state.

The student, who is visually impaired and mentally disabled, has attended the Salem school for nearly two years. She was receiving transition services, which helps students prepare for life after school.

Weigler said 28 students are transitioning away this summer as the school closes. He said 20 have reached agreements on how they will be educated.

-- The Associated Press

No comments: