With the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act floating in legislative limbo, a conservative think tank is providing states and school districts with alternative ways to pay for special education.
According to a policy brief released Monday by the right-leaning Thomas B. Fordham Institute, funding systems for special education are outmoded and need to be fixed before the sweeping federal law should be updated.
"America's approach to the education of children with disabilities is antiquated, costly, and ineffective," the institute's president Checker Finn wrote in a foreword to the piece. "This ineffectual system is also very, very expensive. Yet for a host of reasons -- inertia, timidity, political gridlock, fear of litigation, fear of interest groups, ignorance, lack of imagination, and so on -- neither our education leaders nor our policy leaders have shown any inclination to modernize it."