Out Of The Mailbag – To YW Editor (“Special-Ed” Tuition Woes)

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yw logo just ywn1.jpgDear Editor,

I know there has been a lot of discussion on YW concerning the “financial” crisis.

I myself struggle to pay the full tuition for my kids. It turns out that one of my kids needs more of a full time special ed classroom. Do you know how much it costs for these schools? From what I have been told it costs $20000+. My issue is not the cost of the program. The school has to pay these teachers for what they are worth. Since these teachers have skills in special ed they are, and rightfully so, can demand a higher wage then your average teacher.

My issue is this: Why as a young parent am I responsible to pay the full amount? Why don’t we (the community at large) have a system to help cover at a minimum half of the costs in these special situations. Why are we giving money to other tzedakahs when we have parents who are unable to cover the costs of tuition? Isn’t a Jewish education the most important part of a youngsters life? Am I supposed to send her to public school, when there are good frum schools (very few of them) that have the tools to help my child?

The way I see it, the system we have has failed! If you don’t have money then too bad…..

I was wondering what your readers think of this.

Thank you for letting my frustrations out.

Anonymous in the East Coast.

Note From Yeshivaworld: Have something on your mind? Put it in writing and possibly have it posted on Yeshivaworld. Simply contact Yeshivaworld with your story. There is no guarantee that it will be posted – and anything submitted is subject to be edited by the editor.


43 COMMENTS

  1. As a fellow Jew, I feel your pain and wish I was able to help you. Our community as a whole has becone so warped and as you mentioned, the only thing that is important to many people is money. Sadly, in many cases people give tzedaka not as a goodwill measure but just to show it off. Is there any sane reason why Neela on Yom Kippu goes for 10,000 dollars!!!! whjy arent we giving that amount to people like you who need realy help. Again, I wish I could help, but Im just someone who makes a decent living an still struggles to get by.

  2. sounds like the mentality of today ” es kumt mir ” we deserve everything, everything should be coming to us. ” why as a young parent am i responsible to pay the full amount ” the answer is simple because it’s your child. to rephrase it should say i understand it’s my responsobility to pay for my child the full cost, but with all the organazations maybe we can establish one to help pay for special ed. and by the way i don’t see this need as more important then all the other tzedakos needs

  3. I fully agree with the writer of this letter. As someone who has a relative in a special-ed school, I know how the parents had to literally go collecting to raise money for the tuition. In addition to the nisayon of having an extremely difficult child, they also had that extra dayga (worry) of how will they pay for the tuition for the child. There are so many organizations for cancer patients and infertility, where is the organization to help these suffering parents? They need people to take their children out, to give them a break, money to have help during the week..there’s so much they need and so little to provide. If anyone knows of an organization that can help in any way please post it here. The parents are collapsing under the pressure. Thank you

  4. “My issue is this: Why as a young parent am I responsible to pay the full amount? ”

    And if you were the older parent, it would be different?
    Also, if not you, who should be responsible?

    “Why don’t we (the community at large) have a system to help cover at a minimum half of the costs in these special situations. ”

    Who will institute and fund such system? Assuming regular fundraising by schools does not accomplish this?

    “Why are we giving money to other tzedakahs when we have parents who are unable to cover the costs of tuition? ”

    And who is to decide that “other” tzedakas are not a priority? Hatzola, shuls, food?…

    Don’t get me wrong, I hear your plight, but sounds like you feel entitled that someone else should pick up the special ed bill, but certainly not you?

  5. Town Crier (no 3): whose pocket would John Kerry take money from for his “better program proposals that would benefit special education”?
    In case you think all government money comes out of thin air, let me remind you that it is the “rich people” like no 1 poster: making decent living, responsible for full tuition costs, getting no handouts. So these “rich people” income tax increases will be paying it all. But no problem, vote democratic, they have magic solutions for all via our tax money.

  6. Well, I’ve used a frum attorney (Aaron Tik) in Boro Park and received full yeshiva tuition reimbursement from the NYC Dept of Education. I know others who used him as well. He specializes in specail education law and is very well known in the hemishe Oilam. (there are also other attorneys and advocates who do this work)

    So there is tuition reimbursement for special ed yeshiva which is not available to a parent with children in a regular yeshiva.

    Which leaves me wondering, (without belittling the challenges of having a child with special needs)with respect only to the issue of tuition, what exactly is the anonymous writer complaining about?

  7. i couldn’t agree with #6 more and you could also add on the disaster kerry would be for israel and terrorism, but hey who cares as long as i don’t have to work because then again ” es kumt mir”

  8. The parent who wrote this is under a lot of pressure and didn’t convey her message well. All she wants to do ask that askanim also try to add this to the list of things on the “to do list” and set up some type of program to help. Thats perfectly acceptable considering that if a person needs 20K/yr (or any amt above his means) for a disabled child and cant afford it, then he is an ANI, and is qualified to ask for and accept tzedaka. A little sympathy?

  9. you are missing the point
    the writer is lamenting over the issue of warped priorities

    today there are doubles of almost every good organization, yeshiva, chassidus and so on.
    Don’t you get it we have lost the klal part of yisroel. All(practically) mosdos and org are family run enterprises which are over and over spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote itself.
    I heard that there are mosdos that up to 20-25% of there budgets are to pay salaries for family members.We are a klal if we start feeling the true pain of a fellow yid.The point the writer was making is that he/she was trying hard a sa young person to pay full tuition, they are to be commended not beat up upon.
    A special child is not a yachid challenge it is a klal challenge to help.We run to help nebach all types of tragedies afterwards, not lets try to help avert and avoid a tragedy= and I dont mean of the child but rather of a parent a member of our klal yisroel
    Rabosei THIS IS OUR BIG PROBLEM TODAY
    LET US SHARE IN THE TZAR OF THE KLAL!!!!!

  10. We have been here before.
    We all harekn back tot eh days when tuition was “reasonable”. Growing up schools did not cost $15K/year. However, growing up schools did not offer what they do today. There were o cpomuters in classrooms, many teachers were yeshivah drop-outs or right-out-of-seminary girls who would teach a few years before settling down with kids. There wee no special programs for children with learning disabilities, the list goes on. Today we have state of teh art textbooks, computers, after school programs, social workers, career teachers with Masters (minimum BA), etc. Of course tehre are still schools w/o all the above but by and large the schools that come with a $15K tuition do offer those ‘goodies’.
    The actual costs involved int eh schools is valid. I do not know of any school, not have I heard rumors of any school, that makes a profit on their tuitions. No school has shareholders that split the dividens at the end of the year. As it is, we know the sorry state of most teacher salaries. I do not begrudge them their paycheck, I just wish I had enough money to afford it.
    I have two kids in private school, public school is not an option. I scrape together the money and make ends meet. It is hard and some months are more difficult then others (don’t even mention September and April, both months with holidays that really force one to make ‘yeish mi- ain’.
    I have worked salary for the paat 7 years and I am now about to strike out on my own and open a place. Sort of rolling the dice. If it works out, my worries are over, if not, well public school may be an option after all.
    As for the call for community support. I agree that on some level every charity has a valid claim for importance and priority. Health, elder care, education, food banks, yeshivah, job training, special camps for underprivilidged, cancer suport groups, whatever. All valid. But I believe that education is the root of it all. Without a proper education there will be no coninuity for all the rest. Education is the root of it all, without strong roots all else is smoke and mirrors. Community focus should be on this, first and foremost.

  11. Genug Shoin: thank you for acknowledgment. I am happy to know that there are people that share my frustration with irresponsible “gimme”-“es kumt mir” attitudes.

    Tatti: yes, sympathy for people slammed with any life-type bills that are high and hard to afford. Only when I have to pay: income taxes, property taxes, mortgage, health insurance, full tuition, food, etc., nobody is expressing any sympathy for me. And I do not ask for any. I just work as hard as I can to meet MY financial obligations, and daven that I should stay healthy to do so.

  12. THE ISSUE AGAIN
    is not if there is money the answer is unequivocally
    YES YES YES
    the issue is what the priority is and are we making sure that it is going to the right places
    a mossad that employs all its family members will never have enough money
    why do we have duplicates of organizations which I don’t want to mention
    every single week newspaper inserts are growing
    full color inserts costs ten thousand dollars to be inserted without a blink of an eye
    who really verifys every picture and signature it all looks the same today
    YW is a great community resource where news and information is transmitted without cost, sure advertisers pay that is understandable but news and common interest is here to share
    I am telling you that young marrieds are nebach making cheshbonos of mishpachas based on tuitions and the like. We better wake up and start realizing the core of the problem.
    money is plenty in frumland it depends for who and what!

  13. I think we really all should daven that Hashem should send us parnossa to meet our financial responsibilities in way were we just quietly pay our bills (whichever they may be) and do not have to go demanding that someone else pays them(or alternatively have to go door to door collecting) …

  14. as a service coordinator for special children here in NYC, i can tell you first hand that some schools in Brooklyn charge up to 95 thousand dollars a year. One of the parents who paid for this school was told that she could get reimbursed by the BOE the following year retroactively. She submitted all the necessary paperwork, took out a second mortgage and paid the bill for 95,000. It is now 2 years since then and she has yet to see a penny from the money being reimbursed. She sent her son to Public school this year because she couldnt afford anything else.
    My heart goes out to these parents. The community should make a fund to help alleviate this situation. I myself have collected over 20,000 dollars for my various clients to pay for school and camp. (Don’t get me started on Camp – its even more outrageous!!)

  15. Baruch (No 7) It’s not so easy anymore to sue and get tuition from the city. See this article from today’s NY Times

    New York, NY – In Special Education, City Is Fighting Harder Before Paying for Private School
    New York, NY – The city, at the suggestion of private consultants, is significantly ramping up its effort to challenge cases in which it pays for private school tuition of children with disabilities whose parents say they are ill-served by the public schools.

    In their final report to the city, the consultants from the firm Alvarez & Marsal found that the city had lost “numerous” legal cases.
    The consultants said it “was forced to pay millions of dollars in private school tuition for students that could have been adequately served by our public school system,” not because of the cases’ merits but “due to staffing level deficiencies.”

    The city, has more than doubled the size of its special education legal team by adding five lawyers and a dozen paralegals. The effort, they estimated, will save the city $25 million a year in private school tuition.

    Advocates of special education criticized the move. “I don’t think they are paying private school tuition because they don’t have good lawyers,” said Kim Sweet, the executive director of Advocates for Children. “I think they lose these hearings because they don’t have good programs.”
    Ms. Sweet added, “I would rather see them pour resources into special education services than lawyers.” [NY Times]

  16. I direct my response to “The Town Crier”:
    I cry for you my friend.

    Do we vote based on one issue?

    John Kerry allegedly would have given you a few more dollars for education so is this a reason that you would vote for him? Do you vote for someone that but for this issue the antithesis of all that we believe in?

    One more question for you: From a cost benefit analysis standpoint if your taxes would have gone up 50% and your education expenses would have gone down 20% did you win or lose.
    The moral of the story:
    NEVER VOTE ON ONE ISSUE ALONE.

    PS By the way–using my formula (cost benefit) B’SD President George Bush is our president and not John Kerry.

    On a side note to answer I have not listened to “the self righteous yelling of rush limbaugh”
    since 1990.

    Kol Tov My friend.

  17. To “Anonymous in the East Coast”: May you have much nachas from your child, and have the parnasa to comfortably pay for all your family’s needs.

    I think we all overlooked a very important point. We DO have a system to help pay the tuition. The system is the school itself. There are many special ed schools that conduct extensive fundraising campaigns. I have heard appeals for these schools and seen their literature. Assuming that our mosdos are run honestly, tuition cost are based on the schools expenses net of fund raising. In other words, if the tuition is $20,000, it may very well be that tuition would have to be $35,000 except for the generous contributions of the community to these institutions (I for one have donated to some of these schools).

    If people feel that this is a very important issue then they can donate money directly to the schools. If we were to create another organization to raise money to give to the parents to give to the schools we will just be increasing fundraising expenses – a fact bemoaned earlier by another poster.

    GOM

  18. to grumpy old man. I have personally argued with some of the directors of these camps and schools for reductions and grants and they have always saud that there is “nothing available now”. There is never enough. If they do get some of it paid then they are charging a bloody fortune for the rest of it. As one camp director once told me, “what do you care, the money will come one way or the other, as long as i get my paycheck.” I couldnt get over his heartlessness!

  19. I live in the 5 Towns. There is a tremendous amount of tzedakah collected there every week, for all types of causes, right, left and middle. There is at least one parlor meeting or other type of get together every week. YET EVERY LOCAL MOSSAD HATORAH is in financial troubles! Why can’t we together as a community and TAX every organization from outside the area to GIVE BACK a percentage to the local mosdos hachinuch. It can be distributed very simply, based on enrollment. Please give lots of Tzedakah, BUT DO NOT FORGET YOUR LOCAL YESHIVOS.

  20. Can you please tell me where are you getting this fact that “education is the most important thing” .
    We as yidden are the ones that give the most tzduka per capita . I feel your pain. Just to inform you , a mother who can’t pay medical bills for her 3 year old with cancer, is just as important. There are plenty of organizations out there and it is a shame that you have the chutzpa to mock the amount of tzduka fiven by klal yisroel

  21. i don’t understand.Are there no organizations that cater to this cause? What about SCHI in Lakewood? Or the Etta Israel Center in LA?Or Yaldei Shashouim in Montreal?

  22. I have a unique idea for Klal Yisroel that would probably never take off the ground. It seems, many gvirim give tons of their money to the kiruv movement, some without prodding. How about funneling all the tens of millions of dollars from the kiruv movement to our own – to perpetuate klal yisroel from within. Instead of using this money for kiruv, for every child born to frum parents, give a large stipend to be used for tuition that would be paid out to the school where the child attends. This will solve the “tuition crisis” and will perpetuate klal yisroel and raise our numbers by encouraging frum people to have more children. Who says the “lost neshamas” are only coming from the living? Maybe we are loosing neshamos because they are too expensive to produce to begin with!

  23. Hi, there on the east coast,

    Usually i never answer to anybody’s email that is coming out of the mail bag, especially if you look at the responses, I dont answer for a couple of reasons, number one the only thing that really helps is money,not some nonsense comment, reason number two, i would hate to say it & its unfortunate but most of those comments are quite stupid & dumb,as they have no idea what your problem is & they are just rushing to respond as they think they have the wisdom of King Solomen, I am not ashamed to admit i dont have that wisdom, however being as it may, i am in the same boat that you are, however the only difference being, that its not my child ( thank G-D ) its only a relative of mine, yes beleive it or not she was enrolled in NY State Public School System, it took 11K out of my pocket to get her out of the public school & place her in a religious institution in Flatbush that offers special ed, just on a side note, the results are astounding ( thank G-D i am able to do it ) & this is already with tuition being supported thru on organization called Ichud founded by the Navominsker Rabbi & they in turn get some funding from the Gov. The problem is that in our communities we are very much concerned about Russian Jewery & Sephardic Jewery & Shabbos Packages for the poor & Hachnosas Kallah ( rightfully so ) however we the average hard working person who works & tries to earn on honest living, falls thru the cracks & there is nobody there to help them, these families should be no different than the families that send thier children to Chuse or Petach, that funds are being raised for, thru appeals, donations & Yizkor appeals,
    now that i gave you my opinion nothing is going change or make your life easier, but you should know that you are not alone & other people have the same struggle & hopefully somehow G-D will help you & you will manage, dont be bashfull & try to find some organization or some member of your shul that is willing to make on appeal at least once a yr. for this worthy cause,

    In closing let me just say this to everybody commenting out there & some of you always have something very smart to say as obviously you always comment so i assume you must be very smart, let me give you my piece of advice & this is from King Solomen as i am not so smart(EVVIL MACHRISS LACOHEHM YECHUSEV)in translation, a fool keeping quite will be considered smart, dont comment unless you are in there predicament & knows exactly what that person is going thru, outherwise save your advice for some other time.

  24. I hear a lot of anger in the writer’s “voice”, & resentment too: “Why as a young parent am I responsible to pay the full amount?”

    Forgive me, but it IS your responsibility as the child’s parent. Yes, it’s a huge amount. No, any other Yeshiva doesn’t cost as much. But to put the responsibility of paying for the best education YOU CAN AFFORD on other people is ludicrous.

    Your child is your responsibility. My children are mine. Mrs. Cohen’s are Mrs. Cohen’s. And so on. I don’t see why, when other people are also struggling to pay for tuition for 6,8,12 kids they should also have to pay something for yours.

    Balabatim who have the means can choose where they give their Tzedaka. So do I. There are some causes I give generously to, others I don’t support. If you were to knock on my door tomorrow with such an attitude of “es kumt mir” I’m afraid I would be offended. But a smile, a picture of your cutie, a brief explanation…who knows? If you’re uncomfortable, see if you can get a friend or two to lobby on your behalf. People often find it much easier to ask for others.

    How about volunteering or even working in the Yeshiva to reduce the burden? Maybe you could organize a fundraising event. There are ways to reduce the actual dollar amount.

    As a former principal, I know just how challenging special needs children can be, & you’re probably overwhelmed and can’t give attention to your other children in the way you’d like. But instead of becoming belligerent and “whiny”, maybe you could take control of your situation by doing something. And PLEASE…get some help (I don’t mean a psychiatrist, I mean cleaning help, an after-school high school girl etc.) Go out, get a few hours off on Shabbos, visit a friend, take a class. Do something for yourself. You deserve it; all young mothers do!

  25. to #20 Shtusim

    Very well said. You 5 Towners get hit all the time (I’m in Brooklyn, but I know most of the heavy hitters & the very generous donors out there.)

    Your suggestion is very fair. The very wonderful Rabbonim in your area should be the ones to approach. B”H if they suggest it it’s a done deal…they are really respected for the good they do.

  26. #3 writes about someone…:
    [i]”…who was voting late at night just before the polls closed, who said he went late so no one should see him because he was embarrassed that he was going to vote for John Kerry…”[/i]

    One of the advantages of a secret ballot is the fact that no one knows how anyone else votes. He could have voted for John Kerry at any time during the day without anyone else being the wiser.

  27. The Problem is there is no real community,no leadership,and no Achdus.This problem extends to many areas where people are experiencing difficulties. There is no real communal infrastructure to help out the less fortunate in our community be it with special ed tuition,regular tuition or any other difficult to afford expense. There is a lot of wealth in the community in the hands of the wealthy and I am sure many of them want to help, but there is no mechanism in place to make this happen. As far as individuals who do tzedakka,this should not be a tzedakka matter. This should be a community matter and people should be able to get help in a dignified way when the need it, and there are many people out there who need help, but have no one to ask.Perhaps they should not even have to ask and feel like beggars. Perhaps we need to practise the concept of areivus in a better way and make sure that we do not cause busha to our fellow yidden regardless of what backround or circumstances they come from.

  28. i read through every single one of these comments, and the most valid and worthwhile point imho was made by genuk shoin…comment number 2….”Why as a young parent am I responsible to pay the full amount”? I feel bad, I sympathize, I am sorry for your troubles, Im sorry your kid requires special ed. BUT WHY?? Because youre a parent, and youre RESPONSIBLE. Other people, whether theyre wealthy or not, are NOT responsible to pay for your kids education. Maybe it takes more maturity to see it this way, I dont know…yes, it would be NICE, if someone else would chip in, out of the goodness of their heart, but youre responsible because youre the parent. If youre upset b/c u dont have the $, or b/c ur kid requires special ed, take it up with the One Above. end of story.

  29. Run a chinese auction featuring rooms of furniture, opulent diamond jewelry, mega electronics packages, and trips to europe and israel (with airfare, hotel, car rental). You will see the money POUR in.

    Special ed just doesn’t grab people as much as kiruv, hachnassas kallah, infertility, etc.

    I think many of us who want to give a lot of tzedaka but have limited funds (even over the required 10%) need to re-evaluate and try to give to the mosdos in our community. And EVERY community has special ed students whose parents are struggling to pay tuition, tutors, therapists, and so on.

  30. #21 has sent us a link to a great idea and concept.
    But it will never work in New York. You see here in New York, ” the land of my hat is blacker than yours- therefor I am more religious than you”, I will not let my chairtable money go to help out your schools. God for bid I should allow my children to play with your children, hence forth a shul on every block and a million over laping causes all working in the field, but for different hashkofos.

    MP

  31. Wow… some sensitivity please!!

    Of course it is a parents responsibility to pay for their child. However if a child is sick and needs hospital bills and a parent cant afford it- would anyone in their right mind tell that parent- too bad- you gave birth to that child you come up with the funds or let him die. Its not our problm! Anyone who can say that- check you lineage b/c that’s not a mida of a yid!

    Well this is just the same. A parent is turning and crying for our help!! Of course if she wasnt in pain she wouldnt shift the responsibilty. But the child has a need – a desperate one and she cant do it singlehandedly. So Rachmanim we are… anyone interested in helping her or others in the situation out??? Maybe you can start a tzedaka program for special ed along with the shadchan service right here on yeshiva world!!! Anyone interested in being an “askan” and starting this?!

  32. I’m shocked at some of the comments here. For a young couple, $20K a year can be a huge portion of their income. Let’s say our young couple had an income of $65K. That’s before taxes and actually pretty generous. Now how much goes to housing? Kosher food? Transportation? Insurance? Where do you find an “extra” $20K lying around? I don’t live in NYC, both my husband and I work and I can tell you that kind of money would financially devastate us. And bestbubby would advise that on top of this, the answer is to spend yet MORE money for extra help around the house? I really wonder what kind of reality some of those who comment are living. Not mine, that’s for sure!

  33. I for one agree that the price of special ed tuition is outrageous. I know many people who have been through the system, and it had hindered them more than helped them. Plus, the money that their parents had to pay to put them in there, was practically no where to be seen. The teacher’s salaries are not that high, the social workers (with degrees or in the process of getting them) are barely paid anything, if that. Plus, the kids themselves feel ostracized from other kids because they are in “special ed”. All I can tell anyone that has a kid in special ed is, ask to see their expenses first. I know they won’t want to show it to you, but they will say that they have too much. Well, let’s see what the money goes to first. I can tell you from experience. I worked in a special ed “seminary” in Israel last year as a student social worker. The tuition there was 23K- most parents could not afford it. However, what was really going on there? There were 6 madrichas- all serut leumi girls (no training, nothing- mostly there for the fun of it), 2 student social workers (not paid, because they were interns) a few teachers, with maybe a BA- but not in special ed. They had maybe 5 classes a day, 2 of which were taught by the SW’s. They were sent out to day jobs- who weren’t getting to have them there. The list goes on and on.
    Parents of special ed kids are SOMETIMES being robbed in the name of a great education of their child (which in some cases translates into glorified babysitting). It is a shame, that is all I can say.
    Good Shabbos!

  34. What is wrong with sending a child with special education needs to public school. It’s not like they are going to go off the derech.
    If one can’t pay their bills perhaps they should figure out a way to increase their income or perhaps speak to a moreh hora’ah and use birth control.
    It is an individual issue if they cant afford tuition not a communal one. Whether its a healthy child or a SE child it makes no difference.

  35. skoyach – just to clarify, i do feel very bad for this parent, and i did clearly say “im sorry ur kid requires special ed.” And FTR, there are programs established to help this cause, like Keshet and Kesher, and there are many ppl who do donate money! So its not EVERYONE…But you cant force ppl to give money to organizations which they dont feel are “important,” for whatever reason. Mayser can be allocated to whatever s/o wants.

    But, with all due respect to the author of this mailbag post, I must say, that it takes a heck of alot of chutzpah to ask “WHY is it my responsibility.”

    Same reason, that tens of thousands of dollars worth of hospital bills are s/o’s RESPONSIBILITY, even if insurance shouldve kicked in, but didnt, they dont have insurance, dont have good insurance, out of network, etc. Their health (/their childs health), their RESPONSIBILITY.

    S/o gets into a car crash, other driver was some uninsured mexican who drops off the face of the earth. WHY is it their responsibility to repair their own car, when the accident wasnt their fault? Well, its their choice. They can drive a now damaged car, or, they can fix it. Its their car, they leased it, and before they return it to the dealer, its their RESPONSIBILITY to fix it. Whether you like it or not.

    Yes, life is unfair, alot of times. But to ask the question in such a way, takes alot of audacity.

  36. Please tell me, Chavamom, where I said she should PAY for extra help. Maybe you don’t have Chesed programs in your neighborhood…I’m inclined, from your response, to understand why.

    And let’s just say this overworked, stressed out, Mom DOES have to pay for a cleaning lady. You don’t think she deserves to save her sanity? It would be better for her to find $25 a week than to get down on her hands & knees and cry into the toilet as she scrubs it.

    I suggest you re-read my suggestions and the reasons behind them; then get off your high horse and understand that some posters had actual ideas of practical ideas to help this family. What did YOU add to the pot except fury?

    I can’t imagine you would be helpful to this person, except by adding fuel to her fire & telling her she’s right. It’s very easy to agree, isn’t it, if you don’t DO ANYTHING!

    There. That’s better.

  37. I am the originator of this letter. First I want to thank EVERYONE for their input. To #36 you don’t know me but basically you hit the nail on the head with your comments.

    One more issue I want to point out is we are talking about your typical child who has a learning disability. She is currently in a main stream Yeshiva with a very good resource room. Still the school has told me that in my daughters best interest to send her to a school that will cater to her learning disabilities. The discussion did come up to hire a shadow but the school felt that in our situation that is not the best idea. I do agree with the school. In the long run the plan would be to “mainstream” her back into a regular class room setting.

  38. To Original Poster Anon5577:

    I know a child who had a learning disability. He attended a secular school because it had the resources to assist him properly. When in high school he was able to transfer to a yeshiva gedolah and later received semicha. He likely would not have been able to attain that height had he not attended the proper lower school education, which taught him to overcome his challenges. His proper home life and support from adults and school-age friends in the shul ensured that he did not lose his yiddeshe moornings while attending a secular school.

    By contrast, I know a child who was kept in a yeshiva for too many years before being transfered to another school, where that child now thrives – a night and day difference. And, there too, a proper home provides proper guidance. I am not offering advice, I am only repeating what I have seen, specifically, instances in which the root needs of the child were met, and once the child was equiped with the tools to overcome his challenges, mainstreaming was possible.

    Hatzlocho.

  39. what i’m adding here might not help the mother’s situation, but for anyone who’s interested, the costs of special ed, psychological / developmental evaluations can reach astronomical heights. i know someone who recently took her hyperactive daughter for an evaluation & she paid $1,500 just for the initial “checkup”!!!!!!!!!!
    Average (psychiatric / psychological) sessions by most professionals can range from $250 – $1000! And this is no exageration.
    so before you all go & attack this stressed out mom & others in similar situations, get an idea of what “expenses” can mean, & don’t judge so quickly.
    good shabbos,

  40. To #7

    I have a child in a special education yeshiva in Brooklyn. I was told by several people that I should use this “advocate” because everyone uses her and she will definitely win my case. Well to make a long story short, she charged me a “bargain price” (which should have put me on notice) and then lost my case. I did not get a penny. I wish that I had known about this attorney you recommended.

  41. To tek

    SCHI I believe is a school for children who have a different kind of disability then the one mentioned in this case (see post #41). The other schools you mentioned I am not familiar with. Also see post #18 which brings up a very good point. To answer your question there is no organization to my knowledge that will distribute money to all special ed schools of this kind. That maybe b/c the fundraising is happening at the school level as #18 points out. I hope this somewhat answers your question.