Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Reason Why Deaf Schools are Closing

There are many factors that lead toward closing Deaf schools. Jay Krieger discusses one possible factor (among many others); Economics. He discusses why he thinks schools are not doing good job presenting why their schools are cost effective.


Deaf Niches said...

Hey, you make valid points about the cost of quality of a deaf child's education. One staff worker from the deaf school mentioned that she did not like the governer of our state, saying that he did not understand the deaf education... all he saw was $$$. So the deaf school in our state is forced to be creative and innovative with the money so that the quality of deaf education would remain in the top notch.

With the expanding enrollment, I am really hoping that the state govt. would finally agree to give more. Oh well. As for the other states... yes, there is a problem. In fact, in NYS, there is a talk about merging the several deaf schools in NYS into one big state deaf school to reduce the costs.

So it means... the cost of deaf education equals the quality of deaf people's lives. Not fair view, but oh well....

Judge said...

Is that right? You work at ISD, and you can approach the business department at ISD and instruct them to justify the cost compared to others.

They will be in better hands to defend the budget against the budget committee in state legislation.

For other vlog viewers, you do the same to your own deaf school too!

Me? I am no good! I am a wrong tree to bark at!

Anonymous said...

Statistics, statistics, statistics.....and go on! Ugh!

The state department of education will approach and depend on the enrollments and $$$$.


White Ghost

IamMine said...

White Ghost... please... I beg you...

Please don't mention the word, "Statistics"!!

I start that class in 2 weeks and I dread about it everyday as the class is approaching rapidly...

Let's call it... Sadistic, eh?

Anyway...this impacts not only deaf institution, but also public schools as well.

It's bad everywhere - it has impacted my hearing children's school here, too.

Many teachers are asked to retire early so they can hire newly teachers for cheaper costs.

How will that affect their education remains in question.


mishkazena said...

I have many responses to your vlog, but unfortunately it will be too long to cover all of them here. In my opinion, the cost of educating a residential student will always exceed the one for a mainstreamed student due to extra staffing, housing and food expenses during the evenings and weekends. For a day student, that's a different story.

Economically it is cheaper if a state school has excellent academic outcomes for one simple reason: the better the education, the higher the student enrollments. The more students, the lower expenditure spent for each student. Unlike ISD and few other outstanding schools, it appears many schools for the deaf aren't performing well academically, so the expenses of operating these schools are extraordinarily high due to low enrollment figures.

That's my perception of the economics of operating a residential school. I don't know if my perception is correct as I am only an observer.

W. David Samuelsen said...

teachers retiring early? In Utah it's because of incentives and DISincentives, resulting in serious shortage to the point some districts actually rehired those teachers back - without benefits.

As for deaf schools, some states are expanding and other are shrinking. It is all depending on two main factors at work - shrinking due to lack of support or weak support among the alumnai of the deaf schools and heavy emphasis on "mainstreaming" with poor or lack of understanding of IDEA law.

The oppositing trend affecting the growing schools - because of strrong support of the alumnai AND the laws favoring the deaf schools.

$$ was never a real issue either way because the $$ get shifted around in mainstreaming programs still costing as much as the deaf schools.

In Oregon, the state legislative is moving through two bills now to save OSD from any chance of closing and reinforcing the deaf community and alumnai's role in governance of the school.

Utah is moving away from mainstreaming toward expanding the day schools. Can't hold on interpreters, easier to recruit teachers than interpreters. This is after more than 50 years (started in 1958) and trend is reversing toward day schools instead of mainstreaming.

dianrez said...

Another way for schools to handle this is to accept more special needs students...deaf plus another condition such as developmental delay, autism, health needs, and physically challenged. We already know about combining deaf with blind programs.

Is this the answer to saving schools for the deaf? No. Simply because it loses the focus on education of the visually aware kids who have normal intelligence. The teachers and funds are spread too thin among all the diverse needs and education suffers for the average Deaf in treating them like a disability group.

A cultural focus in justifying schools for the deaf may not work if that is not the way government funders see it.

How does one make NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND fit with LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT and SAVE TAXPAYER MONEY? Education of the public and their voting power!

Gallaudet Protest Legal Issues said...

Don't forget another reason why the residential schools are declining in enrollment, it's because of the failure of leadership on the part of Irving Jordan over a 19-year period.

Jordan did not like the idea of residential schools, but of course he would never admit that openly to the public. So he became "passive aggressive" on the issue of the residential schools and he never really supported them.

If you read Jordan's speeches over the years, he is constantly giving hints about his attitude. His real attitude is that he hopes that cochlear implants will "redefine" what it means to be deaf and that he hoped a new generation of deaf people would push for mainstreaming and close down the residential schools.

When Jordan became president in 1988, he had meetings with Senator Tom Harkin. Senator Harkin then (after speaking with Jordan) sponsored a bill to create the so-called "National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders" (NIDCD)under the National Institute of Health (NIH). Over the next 19 years the Federal government poured billions of dollars into the NIDCD, and a high percentage of that money went to cochlear implant research.

Basically, Irving Jordan was the "cochlear implant president", but he never really explained his true views and plans to the public. He only mostly dropped hints.

You can watch Tom Harkins speech during Jordan's inauguration in October of 1988:

By watching the speech, it's pretty clear that Harkin wanted to use the Deaf President Now movement as a stepping stone for his own political ambitions, probably to run someday for President of the United States. In the process, Harkin helped Jordan hijack the Deaf Culture Movement, and the two of them (Jordan and Harkin) attempted to eliminate (or "redefine") Deaf culture by promoting cochlear implants.

Michele said...

What about blind institutions, are they experiencing the same problem as deaf institutions? I also think that we are undergoing some changes regarding in educating disabled people, making it a community based thing where disabled people need to fit into our society for people to see them. Because often too many times disabled people are hidden away in state institutions and the general public don't get to see them and they gripe about having to make buildings and stuff accessible and then they complain that they don't see disabled people at all. Also hearing parents want their deaf children close by, public schools are probably appealing because they offer quality education and at the same time, parents know that deaf children can interact with hearing children. Is that good or bad? I'm not sure. For me personally, if I would to have a deaf child, I am not really sure if I would send hir to a deaf institution or not because of the politics involved among parents, teachers and administration, teacher may know me personally from my college days, and all that. One friend told me that she sends her deaf child to a private school (the county pays for the tutition fees) and she is amazed at the quality of education they offer to her child. The state is willing to pay anything even taxi costs to ship the child to a private school or public school instead of deaf institution which I think is kinda of wasteful at times of our tax money.

Barinthus said...

Yet one other good vlog! I agree with your points. Deaf instuitions do a poor job of "selling" themselves and justifying their costs.

Mishkazena and gallyprotestlegalissues also had good points.

The problem is that most of deaf schools' fundings are often from the state which means it is at mercy of ignorant politicians looking for cuts to make. Deaf schools need to do a better job of defending their existence and at same time seek other sources of funding.

They also have a hard time selling their education. THe problem is that people look to standardized tests as a measuring tool. Those tests are not appropriate for Deaf students the way those are designed today.

Gallaudet's support is also esstential. CSUN and RIT could do their share as well along with other universities with deaf education programs.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that schools for the deaf are actually "service providers." Home school districts are the ones who pay for their deaf children's education.

Cy said...

Remember at the mainstramed programs, it is the PROPERTY TAX and other types of taxes that pay for related or accommodation services, not from the state. That's the bottom line with those schools for the deaf. With the schools for the deaf, the burden of cost comes entirely from the state while mainstreamed students' education come from local taxes, which in the state's eye is much more cost effective. School districts only get partial funding from the state and larger funding come from local taxes. State schools' funding are entirely from the state. So the debate on cost effectiveness is a serpent line.

mishkazena said...

Cy, I am under the impression the school districts are responsible for the expenses of their children educated at the residential deaf schools.

Cy said...


What I understand is schools districts pay for transportation only. They don't pay for the education aspect. Because the student's legal residence fall in that school district, the school district is responsible for transporting the child to wherever the student's LRE educational site is. The students usually rides the schools for the deaf's bus (at least we do here), but the district allocate expenses to cover the driver salary, cost of gas and maintenance and use of the schools for the deaf's bus. At the other schools for the deaf, I had seen the home school district bus come to the schools for the deaf campus to pick up the students. I guess it all depends on the agreement between the schools for the deaf, the dept of education and the school districts how they work out the expenses and transportation details.

The schools districts will normally fight to keep the students in their schools at IEP meetings because they mean big money. If they are placed with school district, they get larger funding to cover related/accommodation services in which they don't actually spend on the deaf student - only a small chunk of it which often is why we see lousy quality interpreters - they are cheap. Non certified. They use special needs funding to pool it elsewhere. Dirty politics.

So in all, to me, it seems it is more cost effective to educate the child at schools for the deaf - keep it honest and well monitored. Funding allocated for special needs students is often abused and misspent.

michele said...

At where I live, there is a private school for kids who have autism and Asperger's Syndrome. The county will only help out if you are needing financial assistance and if public schools do not work out for your child. It is a very elite private school, all kids are given laptop computers and they hire top notch teachers. Is that possible for us to set up a private school for deaf kids in the same way?

jwomick said...

oh yes i agreed with u. but i found out FEW school for the deaf closed cuz students quits, not enough teaches, some student not motive as get goal passed all courses but i noticed one i not tell which one school but ONE of the school i found out government DECIDED close that school cuz ALMOST all students not make successed. but LUCK that state have 2 school for the deaf so one of them closed mean other students have to go to other school. but i graduated at SCSDB (south carolina school for the deaf and the blind) i learn some teachers told me about it it's facts that scsdb WON'T closed. reason they have program for deaf, blind, HC and many they need help. As they are strong open school for that state need school so... mostly i noticed school for the DEAF (only) they will closed. honest with you, it's not make sense! they just look at blind and other instead just DEAF
grrrr at them i wish DEAF only school but they have hard time with ecomonic reason cuz blind and HC in school for the deaf it's big bother for deaf edcuation they focus on blind need improve technology and HC too but just TINY help deaf need for edcuateions plus a lot cost for travels so scsdb president drop ALL field trips it's make me mad! only can go visit college as deaf program there. that's all they do. it's sound not FAIR i told them why not we save money so we can make trip but President of scsdb not approved it SIGH! but i just graduated and suck senior year. BUT i glad i already get success graduated with state diploma. oh well just tell about them as facts.

Joshua Womick

Debbie said...

Hi there

Dennis Bacon said...

I thought that mainstream school is costly than deaf school. Why? In my opinion.. for example, one state have 5,000 deaf or hard of hearing kids and maybe 100 schools. State have to pay the interpreter cost (some of them are not certified or license to be or lower than level.) plus burden cost on special education programs set up. So it will add up more than we think. What about Florida's successful to stop mainstream program then Florida School for Deaf and Blind? expand more students ever. I heard it have over 500 students, correct? How did they success that?


Jessica said...

Sorry to say but sounds discouraging to me. If money is what they focus on rather than the quality of education, would they rather lower the quality of education for the child just to save money? I would think the best education possible is a good investment in the child's future. Think of the long term benefits.

We have some families here moving to Indianapolis this year and from what I hear, ISD is growing fast due to new students being enrolled this coming fall. Does that put some strain on the state legislature to deal with the rapid growth? What I am hearing is yes, it is but want to know more from those of you over there.

Anonymous said...

Our gov't does care about disability, the problem is Why Prez Bush does not show up in any deaf school, HUH?? Let's blame his lousy adminstration and lobbyist had playing with fire with war, problem with bad adminstration, etc.

Deaf Niches said...

Yeah, the Indiana State govt. needs to be educated about ISD... it sounds like to me there are not enough of deaf advocates for deaf education lobbying at IND state govt??? Correct me if I am wrong, since I am a new resident to Indiana, moving last summer. ISD BADLY needs money, for hiring more teachers, keeping the campus of ISD uptotch, etc. When I drive on College Ave, I pass IND school for blind... it is a beautiful campus, in a middle- to upper middle class neighborhood. I am not sure about the quality, economic, etc. of blind education, since I know nothing about it. I wonder if the statespeople pay more attention to the blind education more than deaf education? Just wondering....

Jessica said...

Deaf Niches,

I have had this discussion with the parents here before they are moving there. So they know what I am talking about if they are here reading this. I am talking as a parent of hearing children and see how it works in their school.

One of the many things their (the parents here) minds are blown by all the extracurricular activities ISD has to offer. Seriously! They are wway ahead in the game compared to the school here. They tell me what the school offers for elementary school kids and I am like, WOW! I would call that the "extras".

So if the state legislature feels strained to meet the financial needs of a fast growing school, I think that the parents can work with them on that.

The "extras" cost money and who pays for that? That is where the parents and the school community can come in and help out instead of expecting the state legislature do all of it. That is how it is done at my children's school. They have a PTA for that where they raise funds for things that they feel the school needs but are not able to be covered by the school budget.

I think that is one possible way for the legislature and the ISD community to work together. It doesn't have to be about the "extras" but maybe some other issue. This is just an idea of what they may look at to be more cost effective. Maybe it won't even be a issue. Who knows?

Anyway, I am sure you guys will think of something when the time comes and probably better than what I suggested but that is the basic idea.

I will be visiting Indianapolis one day soon and I hope to get a tour of the school. Possibly next month. See see.

Deaf Niches said...

Jessica... yes, ISD has an excellent afterschool program, no question about it. Just a bit too heavily on sports...It does not have boy scout program (only girl scout program... no boy scouts because of sports), no chess club, any kinds that are geared to the boys who are not interested in sports. It has PTA (we call PTCO here) and it is very weak (not enough parent participation.) Right now there is a group of 4th grade mothers getting together to try help get PTCO up and running strong again.

From my understanding, the cirrculum at ISD is funded by federal grant, so it is fine. It is the state's handling of money that hurts ISD.

Right, Jay, about the money subject?