Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The Cost of Education
Okay, I can’t put it off any longer. I’ve got to buy Ashley some new socks, get the boys those super giant notebooks to give the illusion of organization to their school work, and pull out the IEPs so I can gently(?) remind teachers what they are supposed to be doing this school year.
I’m really not ready. Although I long for the routine and predictability that the school year brings to our daily schedules, I’m not ready to put on my smiling, cooperative face and pretend that my school district is trying its best to educate my children.
While there are individual teachers and aides who sincerely care about my children, my school district as a whole could care less if we stay or go. My four children will again don their student numbers and become part of the mass called ‘student body’. They will have lunch line numbers, schedules with their class room numbers, and grades reflecting their performance numbers. But will they have names?
How many battles will I have to fight this year? Will Jessica get her laptop computer that the school district promises every student? Will Corey be challenged in his classes or just written off as a not-too-bright kid, a kid who is easier to ignore than to put forth effort to figure out? Will Ashley receive the communication support she needs or will the same struggles I have faced since she started school at age three continue to surface?
I think this year I will keep a running list of all the battles – those that are small and those that aren’t. I’ll record how much time I spend fighting for an appropriate education for my children with disabilities. Then maybe at the end of the school year, I will present my school district with a bill for my services as their ‘watchdog’. Surely they would want to pay it, don’t you think?