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Palin's promise to give private school vouchers to children that have autism, down syndrome, mental retardation, emotional disturbances, blindness, deafness, traumatic brain injury an other special needs is a fake promise because most private schools do not admit children with these special needs.

Palin's promise to give private school vouchers to children that have autism, down syndrome, mental retardation, emotional disturbances, blindness, deafness, traumatic brain injury an other special needs is a fake promise because most private schools do not admit children with these special needs.

If you don't believe me, call your local catholic, Christian or other affiliated or unaffiliated religious school to see if they will accept your autistic, mentally retarded, brain injured, blind, deaf or emotionally disturbed child.  My guess is that they will say they won't accept your child, even though you can pay full tuition or have a state voucher.  

Catholic, Christian and other religious affiliated schools make up about 82% of all private schools, according to the National Center on Education Statistics.  With few exceptions, they do not accept kids with these special needs.  Most of the nonsectarian private schools (18% of all private schools) also do not accept kids with these special needs.

I am a parent that sent both of my children to Chicago Catholic schools.  As soon as a kid got an Individual Education Plan ("IEP"), that kid was transferred to a special education program in the public school system.  This wasn't done because the parent could not afford tuition, but because the school did not have a place for the child.  Even if the state gave the parent a voucher, the school would still not keep the child.  And these were only children with learning disabilities ("LD") or with emotional disturbances ("ED"). An autistic or mentally retarded child would not even be let in the door.

Are there a handful of specialty schools for autistic and mentally retarded children in each state.  Sure.  They also can run $30,000 per year or so.  Sometimes, school districts have to send their kids to these schools, because their school district cannot give the child a Free and Appropriate Education ("FAPE").

If vouchers were given out to special needs kids, it would just dilute the money for the core public special education schools.

So what do we do?  First, Congress can fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA") to the tune of about $15 billion a year (45 days cost of Iraq) to strengthen special education (something McCain voted against).  Second, states and counties that have a need for improved special education for autistic and mentally retarded children can form public/private partnerships to build new schools specially for this population.  The Easter Seals just built the New Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research in Chicago.  

How did Easter Seals do it:

-Speaker of the House Michael Madigan secured a $4 million state grant to initiate construction.
-Governor Rod Blagojevich secured $1 million through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
-The City of Chicago through Mayor Richard M. Daley donated land in the Illinois Medical District valued at $3.5 million.
-CVS/pharmacy donated $500,000.
-Dominick’s made a commitment of $400,000 to name the Vocational Training and Work Center.
-The Chicago White Sox pledged $1,000,000.

It is called teamwork, something McCain/Palin know little about.

Please Recommend

Originally posted to Withdraw the Republicans on Thu Oct 30, 2008 at 09:21 PM PDT.


Palin's Autism Voucher Plan is Really:

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Comment Preferences

  •  Once again a supposed friend (4+ / 0-)

    of the disabled turns out to be anything except. As a person with Asperger's Syndrome, I am really angry about this. While it is true that public schools are not always the best for people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, private schools are often just as bad if not worse.

  •  Thanks for research and analysis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Another accident waiting to happen on that "straight talk express".
    DUI, DWI...NOW driving while stupid as hell quite dangerous.

    How much snake oil do they have to sell, OMG!

  •  McCain has voted against funding IDEA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv, Cassandra Waites

    Eighteen times. Now we families are to believe that they want to fund the act? This is just a back door attempt to get us to publicly fund private school vouchers. I smell a rat.

    •  McCain said judge by past actions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and he obviously wants you to forget about his own words now that his maverick is on board with her pandering. She cut funds for the poor girls in Alaska that need a break to get on their feet, so why should I believe her. While I'm at it, her or Mccain using disabled children is dishonest because now their only interested as a political ploy and in palin's case, it involves her directly. I hate when people only care about issues when it directly affects them, otherwise tough luck.

  •  This autism bit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's becoming rather a cruel sick joke to be perpetuated this long based upon her co-Maverick's mentioning autism instead of Down's Syndrome!

    (one "defect" like another ...)

  •  Just say no to vouchers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kitchen sink think tank

    -vouchers should not be used for religious schools for at least 2 reasons:
     1. It's taxpayer money and should not be put in the hands of a church - a violation of the separation of church and state.

     2. Voucher money given to private schools is money deprived from public schools; public schools absolutely must have the hightest priority.

    I know, I know, there are some who say the private schools do a better job of educating than the public schools (usually claimed by private school people with their hand out), but it's not true. Private schools can often manage higher than average achievement test scores, but when you allow for the students they wouldn't accept, like special needs children, the emotinally unstable, the borderline mentally retarded, etc., gee, their 'better' scores disappear. And meanwhle, some private schools teach some religious crap that makes for a rather lousy U.S. citizen.  

  •  More kids they won't take (0+ / 0-)

    Homeless, English learners, disciplinary problems, those with "difficult" parents, transient, etc., etc. Private and parochial schools don't take kids that are expensive or difficult to educate. The public schools take all, then are dinged by the press and public when some kids don't make the grade. Charter schools generally are no better, either. They "cream" the best kids from other public schools, then brag about their test scores. Vouchers would not help the kids who need the most help.

  •  Palin doesn't understand (0+ / 0-)

    But when Trig is a little older, maybe it will dawn on her how things really are. At least she's not fool enough to homeschool AND be a guv! ;-)

    In a democracy, everyone is a politician. ~ Ehren Watada

    by Lefty Mama on Thu Oct 30, 2008 at 11:48:47 PM PDT

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