[Nfbk] {Disarmed} fees for non-academic services

slerythema slerythema at gmail.com
Thu Jan 19 19:15:02 UTC 2012

As long as the sports are extra-curricular and not part of the regular gym
class during school, fees are paid by non-disabled students and we want our
disabled kids to be part of the real world. Plus, if the funding helps keep
the schools open and these kids get services such as o&M and speech without
fees, then we have to look at the fact that the government isn't doing that
great a job with finances. So far, it sounds like in the article that kids
are not denied participation based on the parents lack of ability to pay. I
have seen in my own personal experiences that people are more willing to
help fund something like a scholarship than they are at giving to just
general funds.
I am really curious to hear what others think.
Cindy Sheets

-----Original Message-----
From: nfbk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of
Kevin Pearl
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 7:37 PM
Subject: [Nfbk] {Disarmed} fees for non-academic services

-fees-for-non-academic-services> ISVI, to charge fees for non-academic

 <http://www.mcdonoughvoice.com> GateHouse News Service 
Posted Jan 18, 2012 @ 06:00 PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a bill that allows the
<http://morgan.k12.il.us/isd/> Illinois School for the Deaf and the
<http://www.isvi.net/> Illinois School for the Visually Impaired to charge
fees for non-academic services, such as sports, that in some cases used to
be free.

=SB&LegId=55061&SessionID=84&GA=97> Senate Bill 274 revises earlier
legislation that required a financial analysis for each student attending
the schools, both of which are in Jacksonville, and an analysis of the cost
of non-education-related services.

Each parent of a student would have had to disclose his or her income to the
state and prove it. Parents of children who live at one of the schools were
to have been charged for room and board based upon a sliding scale
determined by income. 

That legislation, sponsored by state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, and
Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, was determined to run afoul of federal law.
Feigenholtz has been a staunch opponent of state institutions, instead of
community-based entities, for children with special needs.

There was also talk in the Quinn administration in 2011 of closing the two
schools, a discussion described by officials as "just a budget exercise."

Federal law guarantees students in special education a free and appropriate
education, said Mary Lauderdale, the superintendent of both schools.

"As the Department of Human Services looked at the bill, it didn't comply
with the individuals with disabilities act," she said. "This puts that bill
in compliance and calls for basic registration and fees."

The School for the Deaf has traditionally imposed certain fees. An athletic
fee is being added. Fees have not been charged at the School for the
Visually Impaired.

The new fees vary, depending on the student's participation in activities,
and would max out at around $200 for athletes, Lauderdale said.

Rep. Jim Watson, R-Jacksonville, the House sponsor, said DHS initiated the

"They found there are limits to what they can charge people based on federal
law," he said. "That was an initiative of the agency."

Parents have not complained about the cost, Lauderdale said, adding that
families below the poverty line do not have to pay any fees.

"They see the importance of the school," Lauderdale said. "They've gotten a
pretty good bargain up until now. We are having no problem collecting those

The fees also allow the schools to make the case that families are paying
something for the services they are getting. There is no estimate of how
much money will be raised by the fees, Lauderdale said.

"Something is better than nothing," she said. "We want to be as much like a
regular school as possible."

Chris Wetterich can be reached at (217) 788-1523.

 <http://www.gatehousemedia.com/terms_of_use> Copyright 2012 McDonough
County The Voice. Some rights reserved 

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