Donovan’s mother, Michelle Forde, likes his special education high school, Public School 79, the Horan School, in East Harlem, where she feels he is welcome and cared for. But she wishes his teachers would spend more time working on his practical challenges, like his self-abusive habit of hitting himself in the face so hard that he has to wear thick white cotton mitts most of the time, even when he sleeps.
Instead of having him work on basic academic goals, like identifying shapes and coins, she wishes he had physical therapy more than 30 minutes, twice a week, because it is generally the only time during the day he is taken out of his wheelchair, except when an aide takes him to the bathroom to change him.
We are spending 5 to 10 times as much on students who will never be the backbone of society, never be able to consistently hold a job. Indeed, many will be shuffled off to expensive group-home settings. Many more will be wards of the State in other, less desirable ways. In our desire to do everything for everyone, state and federal politicians and lobbying interests have carved out special-niche mandates that significantly reduce our ability to serve those who will one day serve our country best.
Providing an education for students like Donovan and for Charlie is not a waste of resources. Far from it, it's a sign of the humanity of our society and---I know I sound idealistic here, but so be it---of what sets our society apart, that it's the law to educate students with disabilities.
http://www.care2.com/causes/education/b ... -worth-it/