While schools are developing their plans, they can implement low- and no-cost options right away. For example, allowing students to record lectures, letting them type answers, providing scratch paper, and reading test questions out loud can help students demonstrate their knowledge without unneeded stress.
Finally, administrators can look for ways to pool resources from different budget streams to assist students. Special education funds, for instance, may cover only part of the students’ needs, while the curriculum and instruction monies could provide for training and assistive technologies.
Without early intervention, Noland says the hidden costs—increased counseling and special education services for older students and undereducated adults relying on social services because they can’t find full-time employment— will add up.
“Let’s invest upfront,” she says. “Let’s front-load our money, our dollars, our instruction [along] with getting early identification and supports…because we will save money in the long run.”
About the Presenter
Terrie Noland, national director, educator engagement, Learning Ally, has more than 24 years of experience as both a trainer and developer of content for educators and administrators. Her focus for the past five years has been on the pedagogical practices needed to create effective environments for struggling readers. Noland has the opportunity to train groups numbering in the thousands helping to build better understanding of working with struggling readers. She is currently pursuing certification as an academic language therapist.
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