Our Special-Ed System Favors the Rich

Who knows the cost-saving in having a successful alternative program – or, gasp, even charter school – that serves kids with diverse needs better and discourages better resourced parents from suing their school districts for special services and “shadow” vouchers that the public never even hears about?

“[Many schools’] inability to provide an appropriate education for typical students is only mirrored more clearly when it comes to educating students with special needs. But because the latter have both a federal entitlement to an “appropriate” public education and an exit option to enforce that right, special education students have more ability to do something about the system’s failures. In theory.

It is bad enough for “typical” poor students to have as many disadvantages as they do; the consequences are…worse for students with special needs. It is impossible to exaggerate the extent to which inequality is created and accentuated by the school systems themselves. Presumably driven by budgetary concerns, we have seen [districts] step up their efforts to fight families whose children require extensive services, only adding to the resources needed for families to obtain “shadow” vouchers…excluding even more families who do not have that money. ”   Read more>


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