Thursday, May 3, 2012

Petition to US Congress: Fully fund special education.

There is a petition that can be signed on the website Change.org originated by James Woodhead of Union City, California:


Students with disabilities struggle with learning. They have much lower graduation rates than their typically developing peers. Programs to support them have never been funded at the 40% level by the federal government since the original law was passed in 1975. The mandate to provide these students with a "free, appropriate public education" persists. As a consequence, state and local school districts are having to utilize more and more of their general funds to fulfill the mandate. In a time of decreasing resources to support public schools the impacts on all students is devastating. 


Outcomes for students with disabilities are not good. In California, for example, students with disabilities fail to pass the required California High School Exit Exam at around the 50% level. After these students leave school their employment rate is a dismal 34%. This is a national disgrace. Special education has never been adequately funded and the same may be said of general education. You get what you pay for and Congress has not paid what they promised for 37 years. All of out students suffer as a result of this neglect. 
This is a bipartisan issue. Disabilities effect families of Republicans, Democrats and Independents without regard to party affiliation. These are not somebody else's kids, they are our kids and we all have an obligation to do the best we can to help them reach their full potential. 


Tell Congress to fulfill it's obligation to fully fund special education.


Petition HERE.

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