Thursday, November 24, 2005

Eating an elephant

This could be the answer. More and more schools are labeling students as special need, for which they get additional funding, but the follow through with actual programs that effectively meet those special needs hasn't kept up. So, if what the lawmakers in Indiana have proposed starts moving across the nation it could mean freedom for millions of children, options for their parents and a huge wake up call for the public school system.

From the Indianapolis Star:

Republican lawmakers have revived a stalled push to create school vouchers that would give students public money to transfer to private schools. But this time, they'll target only one small group: autistic children.

The plan is a natural fit because the number of autistic students has multiplied to about 5,500 statewide while public schools often lack the expertise to teach them effectively, according to supporters who are at work on a bill for the legislative session.

"There's a moral imperative of assisting these families in the way that they believe is best and, second, it has the added benefit of being a very fiscally sound program," said House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis,..

Rep. Bosma gets it. It's parents that know their children best. It's parents that ought to have the options and the freedom to access them. Let's move this on to the special needs of students who cannot read, write or do math.

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