In a recent Washington Post column by Jonetta Rose Barras that takes a look at how the financial mismanagement and impending closure of the District’s Options Public Charter School will impact its 350 special needs students, Children’s Law Center Executive Director Judith Sandalow weighs in with thoughts about how special needs kids are faring in the city and what could improve their outlook.
As Sandalow told Barras, “We need to step in quickly and figure out a solution.” Overall, younger children with special needs are receiving better services than older children, according to Sandalow. “A lot of our kids have been traumatized at home or in their community. The city needs a good mental health system to reduce the number of kids who need high-end services.”
The Children’s Law Center is working with the DC Council to make recommendations on how to reform special education services to best meet the needs of DC’s children.