Monday, July 03, 2006

Take Health Care and Child Care Out of Schools

Right now we have a few students in our school system that consume a lot of resources. Children with profound mental handicaps that won't ever have the ability to read or write or make a sandwich.

Taking care of these children and lifting the heavy burden their parents bear is a very important resonsibility of our society. They shouldn't be left alone. A compassionate society can and should help, but the public schools are the wrong place to do it.

We can't have a clear view of what it costs to educate students if we are wrapping up a whole raft of health care costs in that sum.

Let's seperate the funding for these two services. Then we can honestly evaluate how each is doing independent of the other. There is not significant harm in allowing them to share facilities, possibly having one rent space from the other, for the obvious efficiencies that can create. But we shouldn't call the health care expenses "education."

2 comments:

twclay said...

My youngest son is autistic. Fortunately for us, he is "High functioning" and has been in mainstream (normal) school classes during his 6th grade. His end of grate testing scores are 85% to 89% for his major scores. Only 2 scores were below 70%. He is on his way to becoming "normal".

That said, what a wonderful idea!!! The parents of special needs children need and deserve help. This idea would not change the help they receive, but it would move the budget out of the schools.

This would do 2 things
1: Identify the real costs of these special needs kids, and help identify what the long term returns are (in about 10+ years, of course)
2: It would allow us to identify exactly how much we spend on educating our kids - and remove the excuse that the education unions have about being required to deal with the special needs children and thier associated costs.

Bradley said...

Thank you so much for your input. The parents of special needs children are on the fast track to eternal glory as near as I can tell!

The most difficult part of my proposal is trying to find the appropriate dividing line between those children that can stay in the regular school system (like your son) and those that would move into the other program. There will always be a need for some accomodations for children with learning disabilities in the regular school system. But seperating off the kids that won't ever be able to learn the things that schools are supposed to teach makes sense to me.