Peter Greene explains pretty much everything you need to know about public education in this post about returning to school amid COVID-19:

Finally, we know that based on everything we think we know right now, the price tag for safely opening schools again is huge. Lots of folks are trying to run numbers, and everyone agrees that the figure will be in the billions—many of them. And simply throwing up our hands and going back to some version of distance learning is, we already know, not much of an option—unless we pour a bunch of money into getting it right.

Teachers know, in their guts, where this is headed. They have seen versions of this movie before. For instance, in 1975 Congress passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which promised every student with disabilities a free appropriate public education. Knowing that meant extra expenses for school districts, Congress promised funding to back IDEA. They have never, in 45 years, honored that promise, and schools have just had to find their own way to meet that unfunded mandate.

We’re having a national conversation about controlling the spread of coronavirus in classrooms where teachers still have to buy their own tissues and hand sanitizer.


And, well, this:

It would be great—absolutely great—if elected officials responded to the current situation by saying, “There is nothing more important than our children’s education, so we are going to do whatever it takes, spend whatever is necessary, to make sure that every single schools has every single resource it could possibly need to make its students and staff safe and secure and able to concentrate on the critical work of educating tomorrow’s citizens. We will spare no expense, even if we have to cut other spending, raise taxes on some folks, or spend more money that we don’t actually have.”

Nobody who has been in education longer than a half an hour expects that to happen.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

Your support – $5 or more — makes reporting education news possible.

2 thoughts on “This

  1. This is grossly misleading. IDEA funds flow through to every SEA, and I suspect you are aware of that. Additionally, IDEA is not a mandate. States can opt out, but must do without those IDEA funds if they so choose.
    IDEA is underfunded certainly, but it is not unfunded.
    Please don’t premise your arguments on misinformation that could bias individuals against children with disabilities and the services they require.

    • First, the arguments were made by Peter Greene. Second, I think the central point Mr. Greene makes is the same one you make: IDEA is underfunded, and often inadequate to meet the needs of children with disabilities. Local governments often choose NOT to make up any deficiencies, as public schools continue to suffer funding challenges. At no time does Greene’s piece or the excerpts cited or TNEdReport suggest that children with disabilities should receive anything LESS than the full services they require.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your voice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.