I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
Late last week, I was on a call discussing the voucher program for students with disabilities (AB110). As you may recall, I testified in front of the Education Committee to not support this bill, for a number of reasons.
One of the arguments for this bill that I have heard is that "the money follows the child". In theory, I suppose this could be true. But I have a hard time believing that the money set aside for individuals with disabilities is the true cost to educate them. What if the amount of money that is following the student is not enough to fully educate them? What happens to the student? What does the voucher, charter, private school do? Do they not fully educate the student? Does the family need to kick in the difference? Do they send the student back to the public school?
As many of you know, I do not support the Voucher program for students with disabilities. Here are a few comparisons between Open Enrollment, Charter Schools and Voucher Schools.
Here are some General Quality Requirement comparisons:
Last night on the Fox News at 9:00 they ran the story of the Lose the Training Wheels Bike Camp that was held at Cudahy High School. Here is a link to the story: http://www.fox6now.com/news/witi-20110710-lose-training-wheel,0,4125419.story
Are Schools Covered by IDEA (Individual with Disabilities Education Act)
Admissions and Accessibility
Discrimination in the Application Process
We Expect Respect
I spent the early part of the week attending the Information and Technical Assistance Center for Councils on developmental Disabilities (ITACC) seminar in Washington DC. This was to enhance my knowledge of being an effective Board member for the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD). Having just been elected to the Executive Committee for the next year, it was an opportunity for me to get a better understanding of my responsibilites and to learn from other Councils. There were members from all 50 states, yes even Alaska and Hawaii were in attendence, also represented was Guam. It was a great opportunity for me to hear how some other states are dealing with the same issues facing all of us.
I had the honor of speaking with the Commissioner of the Adminstration on Developmental Disabilities, Sharon Lewis. Sharon spoke of the challenges and uncertainty of the immediate and long term future for people with developmental disabilities.