When parents have money, you probably won’t have as many issues with the school. These parents can hire an attorney, fight back, or pull their children out of public school.
In smaller rural areas, where the poverty rate is high, you will find more IEP issues. Schools are pushing Special Ed Diplomas, misleading parents, and retaliating against others.
The key is parents who educate themselves and are willing to learn advocacy skills.
While having money helps if a family decides to withdraw their child from public education, having money doesn’t give them an easy ride if school leadership is corrupt or believes they must fight parents on everything.
We’ve trained tens of thousands of parents on their rights but, more important, in advocacy skills – how to create paper trails, how to measure their child’s progress objectively, etc.
Many / most of these parents don’t have deep pockets but they succeeded in getting good quality special ed services for their kids.
School leadership and Culture
A big factor, often overlooked, is school leadership and school culture.
Many large affluent school districts that have a greater than average percentage of highly educated, high income parents draw lines in the sand, won’t negotiate on anything, and spend huge amounts of money on attorneys fees to fight the smallest request.
We live in a rural county, population about 10,000, about 1,000 kids attend three schools. About 1/3 of these kids get free or reduced lunch, parent education level and income is below the state average.
Yet, kids who attend the three county schools consistently score higher on the “high stakes” tests than kids who attend school in the high income counties. The cost to educate each child is lower and teacher salaries are lower, but the kids are getting a better education.
So much depends on the attitude of the administrators, their willingness to educate teachers, and the belief that we have a responsibility to educate our kids, as best we can.