Parents of special needs students get more of a say in the classroom.
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Jun. 28, 2013
Fort Myers, Fla.
Parents of special needs students are now going to get more of a say in the classroom. A new law signed by Governor Rick Scott Friday allows the parents of special needs students to be able to veto the classroom and teacher a school assigns them.
Before the law, if your child was in an exceptional student education program the school had all the say where your child was placed along with who their teacher would be. "So it's flipped, the parents now have that power," said Donnie Hopper, the Director of Exceptional Student Education with the Lee County School District. "A parent can say they don't believe that should happen and they can veto that decision."
And what if that does happen? "The next procedure is for the district to file due process against the parent, something that district's typically do,” Hopper added. “In the past it's always been the parent’s responsibility for the parents to file due process on the district for decisions like that."
Every legislator in Florida voted for this bill. But, is this really a good idea? Is it a good idea for parents to be able to tell teachers and highly trained educators how their children should be educated, and, could this start sort of a war? "I hope not,” chimed in Hopper. “They introduced the bill back in February so we've had discussions about what this could mean."
A 120 Lee County schools have programs as there are 11,000 special needs students countywide. That's about 13 percent of the 85,000 total.
The new law takes effect for this coming school year.
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