November 9, 2006
Jewish day schools short-change kids with special needs
(Page 4 - Previous Page)But the BJE acknowledges that it has not done enough in this area.
"There is no money to do the programs. It's really a matter of fundraising," Schaefler said.
Last year the BJE set up a special needs task force to survey parents and schools. Next month BJE will publish the committee's report and recommendations for action.
"Our role is to do two things: one is to enhance the ability of schools to respond to students they encounter -- those in the schools and those who are not yet -- and secondly, help families become aware of what exists in our community," said Phil Liff-Grieff, associate executive director of the BJE.
But any program, he says, will require grassroots support in order for it to succeed.
Parents agree, but say that top-down commitment from community leaders is also a prerequisite.
"There has to be community support, and parents are going to have to demand it," said Manette Cogan, a Kol Hanearim founder. "The community needs to get together and say we are not going to turn these kids away."