funding dyslexia services in texas

February 11, 2022

Dyslexia & Sports Betting


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So what in the world do dyslexia & sports betting have to with each other? Well, a week ago, I had no idea either…

What I did know is that my son’s dyslexia tutor had asked me to be a part of a story regarding funding for special educations in public schools…

I was nervous as heck. See from the moment I started research and learning about dyslexia to support my son, I have had a huge pit in my stomach. I poured over books and websites. I read everything I could get my hands on. I listened to audio books while I drove. I talked to countless other parents. And I spent hours researching and compiling emails, videos, power points and more to fight my son’s case…

All while thinking, how can low-income families do this? If they hardly have time to feed the kids between keeping the lights on, how do they take the time to learn what is needed to advocate for their child. Will their child be identified…

And then what?

We were able to fast track so much with Luke because our teacher, principal & dyslexia specialist at school were pushing with us, not against us. And they were able to focus on his needs because they knew that our school has the resources & people to help him.

But what about the majority of the schools in our district which only have the bare minimum. Which are trying to scrape together the resources based on the measly funding they get to help a kid with dyslexia.

Did you know that the federal government, thanks to IDEA protects the right to dyslexia services in all public schools and calls for the schools to fully fund the estimated double the cost it takes to educate a kid with special learning needs? IDEA also says that the federal government can provide up to 40% of that funding to the states, but it only actually provides about 15% of the funding. That means the it’s on the states to provide the remaining funds. As a “keep it local” minded-voter, I am fine with that… except that we all know that in most states, the schools are terribly unfunded…

So what happens? A range of needs are often tossed together and programs are not implemented with fidelity – a key ingredient to success.

But my kid is lucky. Our school has a strong PTO which can purchase great curriculums. Whether the needs of my kid are directly covered by the PTO or not, the school can do a lot more than most because funds are not as strapped. It’s one of the reasons we love our school. And why I support our PTO financially and with my time. It’s for the kids.

And my son works with an amazing private tutor, Tammy Spencer or the Dyslexia School of Houston, outside of school hours. They work one-on-one and between his work with Tammy and his support at school, we have seen incredible growth in 2.5 months. I have no doubt he will succeed academically and be set for whatever future he envisions…

But what about the schools that don’t have the funds? Well, as I learned, this is where sports betting and dyslexia COULD meet. I will let Adam Winkler of ABC13 explain…

(do you know how hard it is to grab a still shot from a video without looking crazy in said photo???)

ABC13 Interview with Adam Winkler

Oops! I wanted to embed that video to make it super easy to watch, but I guess I need to get a little more tech savvy first…

Let me run it down for those of you who don’t click away to watch the video:

27 states have legalized online sports betting… but Texas isn’t one of them. There are state officials who would love to pick that money up off the floor and direct it towards our schools – specifically for special educations services like dyslexia support. But gambling can be controversial. I am not a gambler. I don’t even like to bet $1 on big games like the Super Bowl because I don’t like to loose. But I am well aware that just because I don’t like something, doesn’t stop it from happening. And when it comes to something that people are doing anyway and other states are getting the benefits of those taxable transactions, I say let’s get that money into the schools.

Anyway, never did I think that this journey would lead to me sharing about something like legalizing sports betting… but here I am. Don’t worry, I will continue to aim at staying off the third-rail of politics… but when I get asked, I do share my thoughts, for better or worse…



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