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Citizens for Limited Taxation

Notes taken mostly from an article by Dr. Charles Ormsby in The Valley Patriot titled Specious Education

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 system.

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 gusto.

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 students.

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.

Miscellaneous Notes on Special Education
  • Special Education reimbursements to a municipality are determined by MGL 71-B 5-A paragraph C . In the simplest English that our lawmakers can muster these days, the costs of programs shall be reimbursed at 75 per cent of all the approved costs that exceed 4 times the state average per pupil foundation budget, as defined in said chapter 70, for the previous fiscal year.

  • Special Education in Massachusetts is mandated by Massachusetts General Law 71-B .
  • Unless you are blind, it should be obvious that social services are beginning to flood Framingham schools with the every disabled child they can rustle up in this state and other states. Given the priority funding of Special Education as stated above, our schools costs will continue to rise unless we dismantle the entire Special Education program in our schools.  In due time, Regular Education students will run out of money.

  • The CDC recently reported that ASD ( Autism Spectrum Disorder ) strikes 1 in every 150 individuals in the U.S.

    Asperger Syndrone (Aspies) is the mildest form of autism.

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most over diagnosed alleged disability.

  • How does one differentiate a stupid lazy student from one with a quasi-disability?

Possible impairments Description
Visual impairment/blindness  
Orthopedic impairment  
Autism (ASD) including Asperger  
Hearing impairment/Deaf  
Visual impairment/Blind  
Emotional disorder  
Developmntal delay  
Cerebral Palsy  
Bipolar disorder  
Mental retardation  
Traumatic brain injury  
Multiple disabilities  
Other health impairments  
Speech/Language impairment  
Specific learning disability  

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