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Special ed and the ride to school

RE THE Sept. 25 editorial "Extra special education": It is not a stretch that most, if not all, students who qualify for special education services require door-to-door transportation. You refer to students with a heart condition or impaired vision as having a "serious problem," but make no mention of the many students with severe intellectual and cognitive disabilities, the sometimes invisible disabilities, who also have rights under applicable state and federal laws and regulations. Some of these kids likely are functioning at the level of an 18-month-old. Would you send off an 18-month-old to the bus stop to board the regular school bus?


YOU SUGGEST that the new school superintendent, Carol Johnson, take a good look at some of the special education students who receive door-to-door transportation to school programs, with the idea that cutting down on this will save millions. A careful eye in a superintendent is always a good thing; but how effective are the solutions proposed by the Globe?

Will school systems save money if they have to train monitors to really be able to handle what they will come up against? The issue here is not only whether students can find their way to a bus stop; there are problems with behavior - in special- and regular-ed students - that one questionably trained bus monitor may not be able to manage.

What's more, the insinuation that door-to-door service has become a "salve" for the parents of special-ed students implies that we are somehow wounded by our children's challenges. Rather, it is articles like yours, which suggest that we are miserable and grasping, that hurt and offend.


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