A guide for parents of high school students.

A guide for parents of high school students. Credit: iStock

Regarding the letter "Special ed costs more than is known" [July 24], I am an occupational therapist working in schools. I have never seen an instance where a child was given a full-time private teacher at taxpayer expense.

Instead, I have seen dedicated teachers and parents work very hard to help all students, regardless of ability, reach their full potential. I have seen "typically developing" children become more compassionate and accepting of other students' differences. I have seen children achieve goals that were not thought to be possible.

As a taxpayer, I understand that money is tight, and everyone, including school districts, must find ways to fulfill their mission with less. However, it is not right to assign blame for our current financial crisis to those students who require special education. It is difficult enough for these children and their families.

I wonder if the inclusion class discussed in this letter was unsuccessful because the teacher assumed the student was unteachable.

Theresa A. Bailey, Bayport

The writer really should state that her information is derived from the school district where she worked or lives. The inclusion classes in my district look nothing like the one the writer describes.

In my district, the inclusion classes typically have three to five or more special education students who follow the curriculum. The class has a general education teacher and a special education teacher who is assigned to the class for half a day. This means that he or she is assigned to another classroom the other half day.

If these students were in a more restrictive setting, even though they can follow the curriculum, that would be more costly. Sending students out of the district to special-needs schools costs even more.

Perhaps if the writer were a parent, as I am, of children with special needs, her views would be different.

Marylou Gatto, Smithtown