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LETTER: Cutting online school program unfair to students already enrolled

Tuesday, November 3, 2009 | 2:50 p.m. CST; updated 4:08 p.m. CST, Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Although the Oct. 29 article about budget cuts doesn't mention it, I feel the state's budget cuts are unethical when it comes to Missouri Virtual Instruction Program students.

I received a letter last summer stating my children had been awarded state-funded course seats for the entire 2009-2010 school year. The letter did not state any budget/appropriation conditions for the award; therefore, one comes to feel secure with the pledge of classes awarded by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the state of Missouri.

At the very least, the cut should be made at the end of the school year, not in the middle. We feel MoVip is a certified, teacher-led program that provides a challenging curriculum coupled with excellent professional instruction. The virtual program is a necessary alternative to the traditional brick-and-mortar education. Many children, such as mine, are college-bound and are provided course work that is not available at our rural school.

I would like an explanation on how the governor's integrity allows him to break a commitment made to hundreds of students across the state of Missouri? This speaks loudly to his thoughts on educating rural children and preparing tomorrow’s workforce today. He states the districts can still offer MoVip classes, but they would have to pay the state for them. Isn’t that robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Also, I wonder how much is really being saved. I’m assuming vendor contracts were awarded by school year. This leaves a small percentage of savings by firing MoVip’s state teachers while paying off the out-of-state vendors. Students or not, the vendors are owed something by the state.

Missouri is definitely taking a step backwards and will continue to slide on the forefront of attracting top educational and professional talent.


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Comments

Patricia Gerhard December 11, 2009 | 4:41 p.m.

I am a parent of a child with disabilities that is enrolled in the MOVIP online learning program. As we all know the governor cut the state funded seats that are children had and now if we want to keep our children in the program we are going to have to pay for it. I feel asshamed to say I live in the Show me State and we can not show the roughly 1500 students that recieve state funded seats that they are not entiltled to a Free Approiate Public Education tailored to their unique individual needs. They are not entiltled to have a chance to fullfill their dreams of life,liberty and pursiut of happiness.That discision is being decided by others that do not know the circumstances why the child is enrolled in the Movip program and is sucessful and in control of fullfilling those dreams. Shame on us as a state and we are setting these children up for failure or living off of the taxpayers when they become adults because we failed to educate them approiately. Wouldn't it cost less to have state funded seats that allows a approiate education with grade level standards and a child works at his her pace then put them back in a traditional school were they were not suceeding or school officals under oath in a court hearing saying we don't know what the childs disabilities are and have not seen his IEP. Who failed my child the local school district for not giving the information to the school my son was going to or us the parents who tryed to send cerified letters to the school my son was going to and they refused our certfied letters. We pulled him out of the local school and enrolled him in movip were he was given the chance to be sucessful and fullfill his dreams. My child is not alone in this.I ask the citizens of Missouri to stand up and let the elected officals know that every single child deserves a Free approiate Public Education known as F.A.P.E.tailored to their unique individual needs. Stand up Missourians and lets be proud to say we live in the SHOW ME STATE and can show our children they deserve F.A.P.E. Maybe we can start a petion or something. Even though I don't know how maybe someone reading this does. Thank You for letting someone hear my voice even if it is just one person. Let these children have a chance at life,liberty and the pursiut happiness.Thank You for letting me share what is trobling my heart and mind even if only one person reads this.
Thank You and God Bless,
Patricia Gerhard
P.S.
All I want for Christmas is for ever child that had a state funded seat be given that back for next semester. Tall Christmas order to fulfill but I entiltled to wish and dream.

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