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Our special needs son was enrolled in our district’s developmental preschool. At first it seemed like a great fit for him, and they were implementing the practices we had discussed in his IEP.

But after about a month, our son kept complaining of aggressive behavior from his peers. He was hesitant to go to school, worried about getting picked on. It was a daily battle with him to get on the bus. We decided it wasn’t worth the emotional struggle. Not every kid enjoys school, but they shouldn’t be in fear of going either. And the feedback we were receiving from his teachers was completely different than what he was telling us.

We decided to apply for the Special Needs ESA program. Once we received funding, we pulled him out and put him in a local private school. It has been so much better. The class ratios are lower, we get daily updates emailed to us and overall, we feel like it’s a much better fit for him. Now he comes home happy to tell us about his day and the friends he’s made. We are also using his ESA funds towards therapies to help him outside of school, and tools to utilize at home.

Public school is not a one size fits all solution – like with our son. Not every kid fits into the mold; sometimes things don’t work – they need more one on one. Especially in today’s world of public schools: the classrooms are maxed out, teachers are underpaid (and nowadays aren’t even certified in teaching), and bullying is rampant.


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