Thursday, July 14, 2011

Minnesota Republican's Solution to Growth in Special Education Needs: Re-Label Special Education Needs Children as Non Special Education Needs Children

Then Minnesota Doesn’t Have to Fund Special Education!

The Dismal Political Economist believes that the dispute between Democrats and Republicans in Minnesota over raising or not raising taxes that has led to the partial shutdown of state government will be resolved in favor of the Republicans.  This is not because their position is superior, but because they care more about ideological purity than the welfare of the citizens.  This makes them more immune to the pain and suffering a government shutdown that is incurred by ordinary citizens than the Democrats, although Democrats have plenty of immunity themselves.

What could cause this winning position to turn into a losing one is that Republicans seem to want to speak out on the issues, thus alerting the public to their true beliefs, which if widely known would surely weaken their position.  For example in a political session in St. Cloud this came up

The St. Cloud district had 2,230 students receiving special-education services as of Dec. 1, or 16.7% of its total enrollment, said Elisabeth Rogers, who oversees the special-education program. That represents an increase of more than 200 students from seven years ago, "in the same period that I have held expenditures flat" at $26 million a year, Ms. Rogers said.

The Republican response to this problem

Republican state Rep. Sondra Erickson, who leads the legislature's education-reform committee, said lawmakers need to examine why special-education mandates and the numbers of children receiving services are growing so rapidly. "Why is it we continue to grow special-ed labeling?" she asked

See, the problem isn’t money, it is that more children are being recognized as needing special education services,  (probably because they need special education services).  So the obvious solution here is to take a bunch of special-ed children, re-label them non-special-ed children, and the funding becomes adequate.  

 Look Republicans, it is comments that this that can turn your winning position into a losing one.  It is in your interests to keep voters in the dark about specific budget cuts, because cutting spending on special needs children probably just does not have the electoral appeal you think it does. Keep informing the public and your postion may well self-destruct.

It was also reported that an un-named Minnesota Republican said that the state education system could also save a lot of money by eliminating its atheistic science programs.  they would be replaced with once a week Bible study classes, since as she explained, all the science anyone would ever need is in the Bible.  However,  this report could not be confirmed and so it will not be presented here.

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