|Special education waste education resources, traps millions of
students with low performance expectations and deny opportunities that
would otherwise be available to Regular Education students.
Special Education runs the gamut from providing temporary
assistance to students.
There are five key problems with Special Education.
There does not seem to be any accountability for any results
given the significantly higher expenditures required for
Special Education. No one is held accoutable
for the damage done to the education opportunities that
would otherwise been afforded Regular Education
- There is no mechanism to balance the expenditures demanded by
Special Education students with the expenditures
required to meet the educational needs of
Regular Education students.
Special Education costs take precedence over all
other budget priorities.
- Parents and students are motivated and actually encouraged
to acquire and retain Special Education status.
There are few if any counter-balancing incentives.
By gaining Special Education status for their
children, parents are ensured that their children are
insulated from any budgetary considerations and that the
financial burden of meeting their needs will be borne
regardless of the havoc it wrecks with other students or
other critical municipal priorities.
- The difficulty of distinquishing a student's physical or
mental handicap from a lack of effort on the part of that
student to overcome his or her handicap (coupled with the
strong incentives to retain Special Education status
noted above) can lead to situations in which students are not
held accountable, standards/expectations are lowered and
students are relagated to being Special Education
students for their remaining years in the public education
It is just human nature to avoid really hard work unless
there are associated rewards or there are unpleasant
consequences for not expending the requisite effort.
In Special Education, the rewards come if you stay
in the program and there are negative consequences
(less funding, less help, and higher expectations) if
you become a regular student. Not surprisingly,
too few Special Education students graduate.
- Special Education requirements and regulations are
passed down to the local community from the federal and
state governments. There is little or no local
decision-making or control.
- Special education is very lucrative for the industry
and employees that provides its services.
Hospitals, clinics, bus companies, therapists, teachers,
doctors, lawyers, administrators that benefit directly from
Special Education regulations all form a powerful
special interest lobby that defend its gravy train with
In the case of the most disabled who face a limited life after
Special Education monies expire, are we better off spending
$100,000 per year now for Special Education or placing
a substantial fraction of this amount in a invested trust fund
that can provide support later in life. Imagine putting aside
$60,000 a year for 12 years, invested at eight (8%) percent.
This would provide the students with substantial support later in
their lives. If given an opportunity, parents might choose
alternative spending profiles that took into consideration a longer
term perspective of their children's needs.