Here’s an excellent op-ed by David Brooks.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/11/opinion/11brooks.html?emc=eta1

So long as our huge entitlement programs are untouchable, we cannot fix the budget and we will lose our freedoms. That’s just the way it is.

As I read it, I realize again that the ONLYentitlement program in our schools is special education. In developing budgets and planning education programs for all students, schools lose freedom and have to work around this entitlement. It takes up some 20-40% of school budgets, is unpredictable from year to year, etc., etc. etc.  If we want to reform public education, we must tackle and reform this entitlement program. Without such reform,  no true reform of public education is possible. That’s just the way it is.

About Miriam

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line, DianeRavitch.net, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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