Protect Education for Special Needs Students

Target: Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education

Goal: Protect special needs children from losing their funding under new voucher programs.

Special needs students are at risk of losing their educational funding through a new program created by Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education. Currently, students using vouchers to get into private schools lose their special funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This is a big enough problem now, but if Betsy DeVos’ plan to switch the country over to a primarily voucher-based school system is implemented, the situation will get much worse. Special educational needs come with extra costs, not just at school but at home as well. The parents are spread thin enough caring for their disabled children, and when private schools are touted as providing a better education, of course they’ll try to take advantage of vouchers. They then find out their funding will be eliminated and the rug is pulled out from under them.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act covers children with 13 kinds of disabilities including autism, ADHD, dyslexia and blindness. Each one requires very different kinds of attention from educators, so an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed for each child. Private schools do not have to follow IEPs, and they do not receive any federal funding to provide appropriate care to disabled students. Sign this petition to change that, and allow educational grants to cover private schools.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mrs. DeVos,

Having a special needs child comes with a lot of extra cost, not only financially but also in terms of time spent providing care. Parents have enough on their plate without having to worry about losing grants and scholarships, which is already happening to kids using vouchers to attend private schools. The private schools are ineligible to receive federal funding and in turn, don’t have to provide the best care to disabled kids. This needs to change.

Families of disabled children have been blindsided with thousands of dollars in tuition bills after losing their funding. Unfortunately, it’s not only money that they’ll be losing out on. The guarantee of certified teachers doesn’t apply to private schools, nor does a disabled child’s right to a hearing if they’re wrongly punished for something. Please push for IDEA to cover kids attending private schools.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jon Ridinger

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3 Comments

  1. Kathryn Irby says:

    This is a MUST!!! Special-Needs Students ARE PEOPLE TOO!!

  2. Betsy DeVos is discriminating against special needs students. This is unconscionable and inexcusable for a person in her position.

  3. Betsy DeVos should be ashamed of herself! Being a parent of a special needs child this scares me. It is complete discrimination and unfair! It’s clear she has no special needs children/people in her family. I can only hope karma catches up with her and teaches her a serious life lesson.

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