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One Reply to “More RTI And New ASBJ”
RTI can be powerful, but it replicates what solid teachers and schools already do–look for multiple ways of intervening and reteaching as soon as gaps become apparent. The structure is also helpful to schools where the process has not been formal. One “negative” unintended consequence relates to staffing. Let’s say a school has (for example) 5 federally funded special education teachers who can work with teachers to develop appropriate interventions for these struggling students. The process works, and RTI provides what kids need without eventually labelling them “special education” students. Over time, the percentage of students classified as “special education” students diminishes, which is positive. However, in that event the federal funding also diminishes, meaning another budgetary area has to continue to pay for those interventionists. Districts must be financially prepared to replace those federally-funded positions with locally- or state-funded positions, or else the depth and richness of intervention available suffers, leading to a cycle in which students get intense services so student needs are met and special education numbers decrease, leading to lack of funding, loss of intervention positions and diminishing resources, leading to student needs being unmet and increasing numbers of special education-identified students…..
Districts would do well to think long-term and beef up intervention at the campus level that is not threatened by being based in federal special education funding; OR, the feds need to think long-term by providing additional portions of special education funding that are tied not to special-education identifications, but numbers of students addressed through RTI who never need the “special education” label.