One course of action is to try to limit or even completely get rid of the segregation between students with disabilities and those without. Currently, there are still numerous public schools around the nation that have not developed a method towards transitioning to non-segregated classroom styles for individuals with disabilities. This exclusion between students with disabilities and those without is creating a barrier that is hurting their educational development and progress towards being able to take care of themselves and interact with others.
However, there are always costs and benefits that come along with proposed policy solutions. One cost for limiting the segregation amongst students is there would need to be programs put in place in order to transition from segregated classrooms to nonsegregated ones, thus requiring government funding. Which, could come from modifying taxes or redistributing educational funds towards such programs, but then taking funds from other areas of the sector. Another cost could be that some parents might not agree to have their children integrated with children with disabilities when it comes to educational purposes.
Some parents may see their child’s education as being more valuable and important that a student with disabilities. Thus, parents might fight the school system in that by integrating students with disabilities into all classrooms it might effect their child’s learning ability and development because teachers will have to move at slower rates. Additionally, teachers may give more attention to those with disabilities to make sure they comprehend and understand the material.
A third cost could be that it might create bullying and teasing to occur amongst students, where a student could make fun of a student with a isability for talking funny or understanding the material all wrong. Lastly, moving children with disabilities into an all student classroom could potentially decrease their rate of learning if the teacher is moving at a speed that is too fast paced for their comprehension. Teachers must continue teaching the material at a normal rate to ensure a fair education to all students, however, that rate may be too quick for some students with disabilities to process and understand the on being taught. Even though, there are costs there are always benefits that balance out a policy proposal.
One benefit being that it allows for integration amongst all students with or without disabilities, which help teach a life lesson that not all people are alike and in order to pleasantly coexist, everyone must treat others how they want to be treated. Children without disabilities will be introduced to the idea that there are others out there who are different from them and have intellectual and developmental disabilities. As will it give students with disabilities the ability to interact with everyone, instead of just secluding them in one classroom together.
A second benefit is that it helps prepare children with disabilities to interact and cooperate with others. Also, teaching them that collaborating is a necessary skill to have in order to get along with other people both in school grounds, but more importantly in the outside world. Lastly, another benefit in limiting segregation is that it could help increase educational levels for students with disabilities because they now have to work harder and try to comprehend the material to the best of their ability to keep up with the other students.
It allows those with disabilities the opportunity to want to learn more and to be as smart as the rest of them. A second course of action involves increasing the funding for Special Education will help to alleviate the educational deficiencies that individuals with disabilities are currently lacking both from an employment viewpoint and in their ability to carry out the basic needs for daily survival. Finding a quality education solution for students with disabilities is very important being that “The state’s share of special education funding has eroded during the past 20 years.
Restore the state’s share of cost to 44 percent (from the current 26 percent) and reimburse the High Cost student fund to 55 percent to support district ability to improve outcomes” (Thurlow, 2014, p. 2). Currently, the special education funding is decreasing and in order to even consider helping individuals with disabilities in finding suitable employment opportunities, raising their educational level is a must. With that being said, funding from government is essential.
Although, there are costs attributed to this solution, which one is that government funding must come from somewhere, by raising taxes, modifying existing regulations or creating new ones, or alter agency budgets. Secondly, this may cause schools to take funding from other programs in order to aid more support towards the Special Education program. Lastly, it could cause government to reallocate education funding in general so that special education funding has enough money throughout the public schools in the nation.
This might cause parents of students without disabilities to uproar and not get on board because more funding for Special Education could take away from their child’s education. Increasing funding for Special Education will provide students with disabilities a better education, which will further their lives after school, hopefully increase graduation rates of those with disabilities, and allow them the ability for future employment.
Additionally, another benefit is that more funding will increase improvement and permit more programs for transitioning into the real world. Moreover, having enhanced and additional programs will help teach individuals with disabilities the necessary skills to live on their own or in assisted living after they complete high school. Finally, a third course of action is to ensure that every student with disabilities is provided with the transition programs and services that the IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, guarantees.
Each student with a disability is assured the right to partake in transition programs provided for by the government that will help alleviate the difficult process of transitioning from high school to the real world. Again, there are pros and cons that must be addressed in proposing a policy solution. One con, time and time again is that government funding for these transition programs must come from either redistributing funds differently or by increasing or modifying taxes.
Government funding for all solutions is a key problem or flaw because no matter what is done to get the necessary funds someone will disagree. Another cost is that someone will have to go from school to school ensuring that every school is meeting the requirements and guidelines of these programs, which could be costly; along with the fact that setting up these programs at every school will take numerous years and vast amounts of money.
School districts may have to cover some of the cost in adding transition programs into their budget, as well as, finding additional teachers that can educate students with disabilities. Although, one benefit of this solution is that transition programs will assist students with disabilities in training them to be able to understand and comprehend that there are daily functions they must be able to do by themselves to be an adult in the outside world.
Additionally, these programs teaches them the inevitabilities such as basic life skills that they must know in order to take care of themselves once high school ends. Lastly, transition programs sets individuals with disabilities up with the ability to have a meaning and fulfilling life after graduation. The main official actors and their positions include the Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Office of Special Education Programs, which were established to further advance employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
They both are federal agencies that promote policies to encourage the hiring and educational success for people with disabilities. Some unofficial actors are comprised of school boards across the nation, teachers, parents, and individual taxpayers. The need for government funding for these programs for those with disabilities will either have to come from increased taxes, meaning taxpayers will be involved or from altering agency budgets to increase the necessary funds. No one wants an increase in taxes, so they will not be on board with the idea.
School boards will be affected one way or another and may have to cut funding from other programs to aid for special education programs. Teachers will have to readjust towards inclusion for those with disabilities and those without making it more difficult on their teaching ability. Lastly, some parents will support the idea of more funding for these programs and some will dislike it. The best politically feasible course of action is in providing individuals with disabilities the transition programs they are guaranteed.