A story in The Washington Post by education reporter Emma Brown highlights the District’s campaign to bring special education students back to local public schools, and Children’s Law Center executive director Judith Sandalow is quoted. Students are entitled to a free, appropriate public education – and for some special education students, the most appropriate setting is a private school. In a push that began under former Mayor Adrian Fenty, the District has continued to return more and more of these students to local schools. This results in a cost savings on tuition payments, but Sandalow and other advocates believe that it is at the expense of the childrens’ educations.
“Kids with special needs shouldn’t be the cash cow to fix the holes in the District’s budget,” Sandalow told the Post. CLC has seen “quite a number” of students whose educational needs cannot be met by local public schools.