Oh, the Ingratitude, Latest Chapter
It costs about $22,893 a year to educate a special-education student in Rhode Island compared with $9,269 a year for a regular-education student.Yet despite the fact that Rhode Island taxpayers are being more than generous towards special education, advocates for special education choose the rhetoric of conflict and division to describe how they feel about the support provided by Rhode Island taxpayers and Rhode Island government…
“Unfortunately in my experience, especially for this population of kids and their families, they’ve had to fight for everything they get for those kids whether the [services] are mandated or not”, [said Dawn Wardyga, program director for Family Voices, a family information and health center affiliated with the Rhode Island Parent Information Center]. “So it’s hard to enter into this with an open mind that the system will truly do what’s best for these kids and their families.”The rhetoric of conflict is doubly worrisome coming from a leader of Family Voices, an organization’s whose “fight” last year included a decision to join the coalition supporting the elimination of Governor Carcieri’s science education initiatives from the state budget. Apparently, to Family Voices and the Rhode Island Parent Information Center, fighting for special education can mean fighting against non-special education.
It’s really Rhode Island’s non-special education students who have more reason than anyone to be skeptical that their state legislature and lobbying class are looking to do right by them.