There is a saying in education. OH, are you one of those public school teachers that puts their kid in private school?!
Absolutely, I would and I did. I am a public school teacher that will put her children in any school or program that meets their needs.
Yes, I have placed my son in a private school with the McKay Scholarship and I continue to work in the public school as a teacher.
Now, let’s get to the rest of the truth.
First, I fought and tried to keep my child in public school. I learned so much about IEP’s, behavior plans, attending meetings and laws of special needs children. I thought that public school would be the best place for my child with autism. It turns out it wasn’t the right choice for my son; at least for now.
Second, the public school could not meet the needs of my child and did not have the solutions that I thought were adequate to provide him equal access within the least restrictive environment. My son needed a one on one support; it was clear that the standard for getting that level of support/services/accommodations was not attainable for my son. The private school has been able to meet the one on one level of support and can document his progress. We have noticed a huge difference in the first six months at the private school. Our son went from being mostly non-verbal to now speaking without prompting; even trying to sing!
Third, I haven’t given up on public school. Maybe my son will be able to return to a public school with private support. It’s not impossible and with the right team and support it may work again. We are looking for solutions that provide support but allow my child to have peer interaction. As a advocate for inclusive education, I think we have to hold the school district accountable for providing the environment, support and accommodations needed by individual students.
I, 100%, support advocating for your child’s educational needs and making the best decision on school for his/her individual needs on a year to year base. There are scholarships, grants and insurances that can help meet the costs of switching from public to private. Given my experience, don’t worry first about the money. Find the best option and go over how you can pay the tuition. If you are looking for grants and scholarships go to MacKay, Gardiner, Step Up for Students, and the United Healthcare Children’s Medical Foundation.