Friday, October 24, 2008

Starting Bell on Wall Street: Carnage as Dow Falls, But Life Goes On in Special Education

I have been feeling life move in slow motion lately as I have watched our world financial crisis. This morning at 5 a.m. as I was readying myself to write a post for the day, I put CNBC in the background and watched as the reports came in from the opening of the European markets earlier today. A plunge in stocks had an impact on U.S. futures showing a drop of over 500 points before we are even open. The implication is that we will see an 1,100 point plunge at the opening this morning. Russia has closed their market for the day and will not open until next week.
NYSE said they were committed to open on time at 9:30 Eastern time. At this point CNBC have their cameras on the NYSE floor and the host said they will be there for the starting bell and they will be recording "the carnage". The opening is starting any time here as I write.
I just have to share this today because my first thought isn't about where my retirement is going (although that thought is there!) but more the thought of what the implications will be for schools and special education services. Will schools opt to cut therapist jobs and make do with their own staff to meet needs? Will services to these students suffer because of the process of cutting corners?
What are your thoughts on where we are headed? I asked our superintendent almost 3 weeks ago if he thought it was too early to forecast where we were headed. He shared that we are OK through this biennium, but the next one will be hard. He is looking at all kinds of options to cut costs that involve new fuel efficient vehicles, teleservice and video conference service delivery options where possible. (The NYSE is open and has fallen 322 points in the first 3 minutes. Now as I write it has dropped 390. Now 425 points while I write this.) He also shared that education has weathered the storm better than many other professions in recession. During the Great Depression schools still opened and teachers taught.
I welcome your thoughts on this. I would like to know what others are sensing as to the implications for student services. Whatever is happening in the financial world, I am still getting up in the morning and meeting with teachers, specialists, students and pressing on with state initiatives for opening up access and availability of accessible instructional materials. Life goes on...

All the best to you!



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