August 18, 2021
By: Katie Clancy
Original version published in the Chicago Sun-Times:
Last week, the Sun-Times Editorial Board wrote a meaningful commentary on the failure of Chicago Public Schools to provide services for students with disabilities. While it is important to shine a light on the abject failure of CPS and hold it accountable, it’s time for new solutions to this decades-old problem.
Instead of sending more and more funds to a failed bureaucratic system, families should receive the funds directly. CPS has been given decades to get its act in order and has continued to show it is incapable of doing the job.
Parents and children can’t wait years to receive services when their needs are so severe and immediate. They want something done immediately to change the inherent structural challenges present in Chicago’s broken school system.
According to a poll from April 2021, 61% of voters support the Invest in Kids Act that provides scholarship funds for low-income families whose children need more educational options other than their neighborhood public school.
The system is failing, and yet the schools keep getting rewarded for bad behavior. Parents deserve the opportunity to help shape their child’s destiny and are unfairly beholden to a failed system that “intentionally” or not does not have their child’s best interests at heart.
Voters are left with a decision, either allow these failed systems to continue operating without accountability or competition, or finally support families with children with disabilities and allow them to be in charge of their child’s education and future.