Thursday, January 15, 2009

Saving Schools Money

As stated before our school district is in the midst of a financial crunch. All programs including special ed are looking at cuts. I'm so grateful for the IDEA and the opportunity to be an effective advocate for the kids I love. However, at some point all of our individual needs can become wasteful. What I mean is this if you have 10 kids at a school who need consultations w/ a behaviorist for x hours per week. Then at said school you have 3, 4 or in some cases 10 behaviorists working at that location. When this happens money is wasted because:

Each behaviorist will spend time getting to know the school, student and support staff.

Each behaviorist will train the staff on how they do things, using their particular methods, they could be very similar, but most likely they aren't.

Most likely the following year one or two new behaviorists will move on which means steps one and two will be repeated again.

This translates into money down the drain.

How can we stop this while still insuring the best services possible for our kids? I'm not sure, but I'm open to any suggestions or things that have worked for others.

2 comments:

The Glasers said...

We live in a town (population 4,000) in a rural county. It has a highly touted early child education center with 22 ABA therapists on staff! Our state pays up to $50,000 a year for ABA for children with autism (but not any other therapy). I pay less than one-tenth of that per year for my RDI consultant, and Pamela has made wonderful progress. After 19 years, she is FINALLY asking "why" and "how come"!!!!!

therextras said...

So few parents see this as clearly as you, so thank you for posting this. You.are.so.right. The very same circumstance is common for every other transient specialist - OT & PT - I know because I did this for years.

If I could give just one reason, it was resistance to change. Second reason, efficiency is not valued, or even understood. To suggest a geographical organization for transient personnel was often considered just crazy.

From the above comment, if the state is willing to pay, what is the incentive to be more cost effective? Truly, the motivations are usually in the direction of getting MORE money from the state coffers. Any guess what the salaries are for those 22 ABA therapists (misnomer - they are NOT therapists)?

But believing in their 'rights', the ABA-technique, or possibly in an effort to protect some children whose parents do not advocate for them - parent advocates will continue to ask for more money - without first analyzing for methods to reduce costs without (and possibly increasing) effectiveness. Barbara