Keep your eye on what’s going on, and don’t be afraid to speak up to support children.
I copied a bit from our ESA gmail group to save here for reference. It’s important that we stay informed and we make ourselves heard if we want to continue to use state educational funds to continue educating children with special needs at home with some freedom to use systematic, scaffolded or scientifically based, innovative, or unique but affective approaches to learning that are not offered in some public or private settings but are successful for our kids. Sometimes the available classroom approach to learning is not the best fit for your child. This is a complex program and requires us to pay attention to the agenda of some that are involved so that it will truly serve children in need and not the just the best interest of those that are busy just serving themselves on the backs of the most vulnerable.
Lisa reminded us of the advice of another ESA member Call your elected reps and let them know. In my case they never vote how I want them too so I suggest this and I am plagiarizing from Staci’s post back in January. She is right and we should all do this. It’s the process for being heard and staying on top of the issue. By the time we organize it’s voted on and done. Laws can happen pretty fast. “Another alternative is to go to the Capitol (ASAP) and get an ALIS account (must be done in person). Access to an ALIS account will allow you to log support or opposition for a bill and the legislators voting on any bill can see how much citizen support or opposition is there. It is helpful. You can also watch the bill hearings from work or home on the video live feed and send comments via ALIS along with support or opposition.” -Staci
So that is what i am going to do. We can all keep a look out for the latest happenings by going to WWW.AZLEG.GOV look up on the little window on the upper left hand side of the sight and type in the bill HB2530 and it will take you too the bill information. Who sponsors, when it is scheduled, what committee it is in. Everything but who wrote it and what lobbyist group is pushing for it and why.
I have a feeling it will be over fast.
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Today Dylan and I and his Dad met with a few fellow ESA members to discuss homeschooling options, and find out how others were building curriculum, and using the ESA funds. It was wonderful to meet others that were beginning this process. We left today feeling a little less alone, and in fact in good company. I am looking forward to connecting again and hope to meet others as well. When we got home Dylan thanked me for including him, and I realize that from now on he is included in everything. This is his journey, I’m just a part. Though, I see this adventure of homeschooling as my journey right now, I realize that really it is his. It will be a blip in his memory one day, I hope a good one.
We talked about purchasing curriculum and there is still some question about the details. It appears that we may be able to purchase materials that are required by the curriculum, however I’m not totally clear if this is so. I will post more as it is clarified.
We also talked about some concerns regarding the expansion to the ESA program, that will go into effect this next year. I found an article that addresses some of the concerns and have posted it below.
Dawn from the Civitan center shared the services that Civitan has to offer (especially a very nice music studio with drum set and instruments) and her willingness to create programs that would be of service to us. She spoke a little bit about the away camp in Williams, in the pines which one parent who had been to visit talked about how beautiful it was. Their programs would all take ESA funds. http://www.campcivitan.org
Mostly I left our gathering with a deep appreciation for the resolve and commitment that was evident in the room and an awareness that I had much to learn.
At home Dylan is back to work aimed at finishing his daily work. Right now he earns TV time when work is completed and chores are done. He chose to toss the ball a bit before hand to get going. This really helps him organize himself to read. I hope we will be able to start therapy at the Midwestern University Eye Clinic again, as well as Speech and OT. Almost made it to our 1st speech lesson, but instead ended in the ER with DH. Remember if you ever get a piece of meat stuck in your esophagus, try the grocery store for the remedy first. I fear the cost of the 3 cans of Coke and 2 Saltines that provided the long awaited relief at the nearby hospital. I wish I had hit the vending machines before he recieved the pretty bracelet with his name on it. Grateful, it wasn’t anything else but did wonder for a moment if I could give him a better reason to stay for treatment.
School choice program expands – USATODAY.com.
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