Walker and His Republican Hoods Rob Disabled Children—of their Human Rights

By Karen Vieth
Forward Seeking (2/27/12)

Wisconsin Republicans and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have done it again. They have produced legislation that turns back the clock on human rights, only this time they have gone after an unthinkable target – children with disabilities. Under the proposed SB 486 (AB 110) families would forfeit their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) for a special needs voucher with a maximum value of $13,000 to be used in private schools that are not accountable to state standards and do not have district oversight. Even worse, these vouchers can be used at schools that are unable to provide an environment appropriate to the student and may not have qualified, certified special educators.

Is it that the people and organizations behind this legislation don’t understand the implications of IDEA? Every undergraduate education student is taught the importance of special education law and the protections in place for students with disabilities. IDEA is one of the greatest laws in place to protect our students with disabilities. Schools receive IDEA funding with the requirement that they are to provide qualifying children with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in a student’s least restrictive environment. Schools who fail to comply with this provision, lose funding. The law and funding procedures are in place to assure equality in education and to guarantee that the needs of students with disabilities are met. It is a central reason our public education system is inclusive and cannot be replaced by privatization or independently operated charter schools. At the heart of this is the role of public education, which is to educate all students …

Read the Rest: Senate Bill 486: A Step Backward for Disability Rights | ForwardSeeking.

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