Financial Help for Those That Need Specialized Tutoring in Central CA

Updated on August 17, 2010
L.H. asks from Clovis, CA
7 answers

I was a classroom teacher for 20 years. I left the classroom about 8 years ago and have been privately tutoring kids after school ever since. Recently, I decided to train to work with dyslexics, so my tutoring has become much more specialized. There is such a need among students, but unless a teacher has taken this specific additional training and paid out of her own pocket, most schools are not able to accommodate kids that are dyslexic. These kids suffer in the classroom because they do not qualify for special ed, so their only resort is to hire a tutor.

I really feel for those families that are not able to afford tutoring. Of course, the teacher in me wants to do it for free, but I do have to earn a living. I had thought about applying for a grant, but because I am not a non-profit, I don't qualify. I am really at a loss as to what to tell these families that need specialized help for their children. Without it, the kids are going to fall through the cracks, and the statistics do not paint a pretty picture. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can tell these families that need financial help? Are there organizations that they can turn to do to receive funding? Any suggestions that you can come up with are appreciated!

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answers from Chico on

You could go through the steps to become a non-profit and then you'd qualify! I don't know how involved and costly that would be, but you may be able to seek legal counsel from a community advocacy group at the university (Chico State has one called CLIC).

As far as "not qualifying" for special help at school, I am certain that if the parents make a HUGE stink, they will get the services their children need. The schools are legally obligated to educate all kids. It is easier said than done in some schools, but they need to advocate for their kids in order not to have them fall through the cracks. I am almost ceratain that a child can be placed on an IEP at a parent's request, even if the learning gap is not evidenced in standardized testing.

All the best!

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answers from San Francisco on

I live in California like L. does. I am also an educator. Though I am sure you are accurate with the interpretation of the laws the reality is what she has written.

I don't think she is asking for a battle with the local school districts and a battle it would be. I have a son who qualifies for both speech and OT. Though I have been effective in the past, getting the district to pay or provide for these services is a continuous uphill battle. We are currently only receiving speech though OT should still an important part of his therapy.

As for the Masonic Temple, if they provide Dyslexia intervention in California, they are doing a terrible job advertising it. I have worked as an educator in schools for 15 years and even taught at a school that had a Masonic Temple across the street. It was never made known about these services.

I am sure if you spent time advocating for these families you might succeed in getting paid through the school district. But, with how our state's budget is looking, it would be a difficult battle, one I am not sure you would really want to engage in. If these families are having difficulties paying for your tutoring, charging a fee to advocate for them through the school district might not really work. Also, by reading your question, it does not sound like you want to become a bigger entity, you want to tutor right?

You could ask those families to see if a local church could sponsor them. You could make an introduction letter/ proposal to give to families that they could take and make the request. Are there any private school in the area? You could also ask to advertise there. Often, those families may have more resources to pay for services or the school may have more resources to pay for you. I presented a proposal to a Catholic school in my area and even though they were not originally looking to hire a Reading Recovery teacher, hired they did.

Good luck...don't feel guilty about needing to make a living. You have real skills that not every teacher has and there should be some 'reward' for that.

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answers from San Francisco on

Try 'Daughters of the Golden West' . I have applied for financial help for my daughter's speech therapies many years ago.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You might want to start advocating for the students you work with. Parents Helping Parents has a wonderful advocacy class once a month. They, also, have other resources.
Other organizations to try is the Dyslexia Association of Northern California and Parents Education Network for more resources.
These students are entitled to help from the school district with proper testing.

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answers from Sacramento on

Have you contacted the Special Education departments of your local school districts? I would send a letter of introduction and try to schedule a meeting with the Director. There is definately money out there for the children with a diagnosis and IEP.

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answers from San Francisco on

I think if the child has professional diagnosis of dyslexia and needs a tutor, then the school is responsible for providing/paying for the tutor. If I were you and you really want to help these kids, I would pay for a one hour consultation with an attorney who specializes in education law and ask that person how to go about getting the school districts to pay for these services and to direct you to the proper authority in the education code so you can direct the families to them and they can press the issue with their school district.

it's a good thing you're wanting to do. It is a shame that these kids are falling through the cracks when they can be helped to be excellent students with bright futures. We should be ashamed as a society that we don't provide the assistance these children need. In fact, i think as a society, at least here in California, we should all walk around with our heads down because of how we constantly take from our kids and elderly to solve every financial crisis. On one hand, we don't provide our student with what they need and on the other hand, we stress them to the limit about passing some stupid STAR test or whatever it is. our educational system is horrid and I, for one, am ashamed of it!

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answers from Columbus on

Dyslexia intervention is available through both IDEA and section 504 of the rehabilation act. Children need not fail to qualify, even in California. Check out the California Education code and learn about the regulations that govern your state. will also have good resources for you about how these programs intersect, and how children qualify. There is a yellow pages for each state, a link to each states education code, and many, many articles about how to advocate effectively for a dyslexia intervention program.

Masonic Temples offer free services for Dyslexia intervention if there are any in your area.

Children do not fall through cracks, they fall through fingers. You are missinformed about how the system works, maybe as a classroom teacher you were informed by school district lawyers who are there to gate keep and lower the districts bill, but your summery is not entirely accurate. If you are no longer teaching, one thing that you can do is to both tutor and be an advocate for children to recieve appropriate services at school, because that is FAPE. The fee you could charge to advocate might be more affordable, and you could earn a living making a difference. Knowing what you know, you would hold more authority to help kids get orton gillingham based dyslexia intervention.

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful
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