The concern for special needs students demonstrated by bills that passed both chambers of the Mississippi Legislature last week is appropriate and well-founded. Unquestionably there are times when the needs of such students aren’t adequately met by the public school system.
But the shape of those bills and their mechanisms could create more problems than they solve.
The legislation would provide $6,000 to parents of special needs students that they could use to take their children out of public schools and either place them in private schools or have them home-schooled.
Not even considering the question of public funds for private schooling, the way the bills are written encompasses entirely too broad a spectrum of students – basically anyone whom a doctor certifies as having a learning disability.