Standing Up for Parents of Special Needs Children: Faasse v. Scott

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In the heart of Florida, a crucial legal battle is unfolding, with immense significance for parents of children with special needs. Let’s acquaint you with the courageous families at the forefront of Faasse v. Scott, a case that serves as a powerful testament to parenting rights and the unwavering commitment to ensuring educational choice.

Amidst this legal challenge, parents of children with developmental differences seek support and guidance to navigate the complexities of parenting in such circumstances. Many parents search for assistance and intervention to ensure the best possible outcomes for their special-needs children. Faasse v. Scott underscores the pressing need for comprehensive support systems that help parents raise and nurture their exceptional kids, foster their developmental growth, and provide them with the necessary interventions to thrive.

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A Struggle for a Child with Special Needs

Julie and Faith Kleffel, Mary and John Kurnik, Melissa and Ethan Ward, Donna and Brandon Berman, and Ashli and Emmil McCall—these families are tasked with raising children with special needs who require specialized care and support. As parents with kids who have disabilities, they understand the paramount importance of providing their children with the highest quality education available, a responsibility they wholeheartedly accept.

Recognizing the unique challenges faced by parents of disabled kids, therapists play a crucial role in offering guidance and assistance. These dedicated professionals provide invaluable tips for working with parents, equipping them with effective strategies to better support their kids' development and well-being. By collaborating with therapists, parents can gain valuable insights and techniques that empower them to navigate the complexities of raising kids with special needs.


The Innovative PLSA Program

In 2014, the Florida Legislature passed SB 850, introducing the groundbreaking Personal Learning Scholarship Account (PLSA) program. This program was designed to empower parents of special-needs children, like those in the Faasse v. Scott case, to take control of their children's education. By directing educational funds towards approved providers and tailored programs, parents could address their child's unique needs most effectively and individually.


A Threat to Parental Rights

However, a legal challenge has emerged in Florida, with the Florida Education Association (FEA), represented by Tom Faasse, filing a lawsuit against SB 850. The FEA argues that the bill violates the "single subject" rule in the Florida Constitution, which stipulates that each bill should focus on a single subject. Nevertheless, it is clear that SB 850 primarily pertains to education—a crucial aspect of a child with special needs life.

If the FEA succeeds in its lawsuit, the PLSA program, which provides personalized education for children with disabilities, could be eliminated, leaving many families without the resources to meet their children's educational needs. The FEA's attorney Ron Meyer has even referred to personalized learning accounts as an unfortunate casualty of this legal battle.


The Goldwater Institute to the Rescue

Fortunately, these families were not left to face this challenge alone. The Goldwater Institute, renowned for championing individual freedoms and parental rights, supported them. Recognizing the importance of working with parents of special needs, the Goldwater Institute is steadfast in safeguarding the integrity of SB 850 within the framework of the Florida Constitution.

When raising a child with a disability, the role of educators needs, parents, and caregivers become paramount. The challenges of parenting in such circumstances are unique, as every child is different and requires individualized attention and support. The Goldwater Institute understands this, and its unwavering commitment to empowering parents and preserving their rights reflects the belief that every child deserves an education that meets their specific needs.


Meet the Courageous Parents

Let's delve into the lives of these extraordinary families and see how the PLSA program could make a world of difference for their children:

  1. Julie & Faith Kleffel: Julie, a single mom, lost her husband shortly after Faith's birth. Faith, who has Down syndrome, requires dedicated attention. Homeschooling was Julie's choice to ensure Faith receives the attention she deserves. Still, financial constraints make it challenging to meet all her needs.
  2. Mary & John Kurnik: John, diagnosed with autism and other disorders, struggles in a traditional classroom. Homeschooling has provided a nurturing environment for John's growth. Still, the limited services available make it difficult for him to access essential therapies.
  3. Melissa & Ethan Ward: Ethan, diagnosed with cerebral palsy, requires ongoing physical therapy and surgeries. The costs of his care leave little room for additional support like speech therapy and tutoring, which he desperately needs to thrive academically.
  4. Donna & Brandon Berman: Brandon, a home-bound student due to autism and muscular dystrophy, receives minimal weekly teacher interaction. The lack of appropriate accommodations for his disabilities, like accommodating his service dog, hampers his progress.
  5. Ashli & Emmil McCall: Emmil, who is autistic, benefits from having a certified teacher as his mother. However, without a background in special education, Ashli finds it challenging to provide tailored educational support. Financial constraints further complicate their journey.

Faasse v. Scott is not just about a single case; it represents the broader struggle for parents' rights and the ability to choose the best education for their children. The Goldwater Institute, together with the brave parents involved, is working tirelessly to protect and defend these rights, ensuring every child can reach their full potential.

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The Fight Continues

As the legal battle of Faasse v. Scott continues, staying informed about its progress is essential. This ongoing case holds immense importance for parents of kids with disabilities and those parenting children with special needs. Alongside the Goldwater Institute, these parents are steadfast in defending parental rights and securing the future of special-needs education.

Here at Ask Your School Now, we deeply value parents' rights and understand their profound impact on our children's education. We encourage every parent to stay engaged and updated on this case. By supporting these courageous families, we can collectively advocate for educational choice and empower parents of kids with disabilities to make informed decisions about their children's educational journey. Together, let us stand up for parental rights and ensure every child receives the education they deserve.

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