FIGHTING FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION
School Board Member Will Not Support SpEd Resolution
BD 3’s Scott Schmerelson claims “it is not feasible for the [LAUSD] to pursue” changes that would protect parents’ choices during IEPs.
“the IDEA mandates individualized decisions, based on the unique needs of each student, made within the IEP team process.”
– BD3 Chief of Staff, Silvia Martinez
As if raising children with Special Education needs is not challenging enough, many parents are saddled with the burden of fighting the LAUSD so that their children can receive the services and support needed to reach their maximum potential. My wife and I fought our battles with the District nine years ago when faceless bureaucrats downtown denied our two daughters services that their teachers agreed would benefit them.
Our family had the resources to hire a lawyer to assist us, but what about families who are not as fortunate? How many children are falling through the cracks because their parents cannot afford an attorney, do not have the time it takes to wage these battles, or have just been worn down by a system designed to force surrender? In a conference room high atop the District’s Beaudry headquarters in a break during our mediation sessions, my wife and I agreed that the system needed to be changed and committed ourselves to making the path easier for other families.
During our journey, we have had other parents share heartbreaking stories of their battles with the District. Mothers like Vicky Maronyan, who was utterly exhausted from her fight to keep her child enrolled in the Aut Core curriculum. Her child was showing great success in this program but the LAUSD was eliminating it in an attempt to force mainstreaming. It did not matter what the parent’s input was, the District wanted a one-size-fits-all approach.
I have also visited schools like the Lokrantz Special Education Center in Reseda. Here the most physically fragile students are provided the free appropriate public education that the law requires. One’s heart would have to be two…