158 Are 1/5th of our kids really learning disabled?


Tom Garrett 3 years, 10 months ago

Do you seriously believe that one out of every five kids in the Rim Country suffers from one of these so-called disabilities. No? Well 18% of Payson kids are in spec ed classes.

Check this list of learning disabilities:

"...autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, developmental delay, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment, including blindness."

Consider this quote from the recent article on Payson schools:

"Most disabilities are self-explanatory, but others are more vague. Take developmental delay. That includes children from age 3 to 9 that have not reached certain “benchmarks” in cognitive, communication, social, emotional or behavioral areas."

What does that mean? "...have not reached certain 'benchmarks' in...cognitive areas?"

You know what my personal experience was when I taught kids who had a "developmental delay" when they were mainstreamed in my computer classes?

One hundred percent of those kids that came into my classes were just nice kids who were a little slow. In other words, to be brutally frank, but also honest, they weren't too smart. Just out of curiosity I checked up one time and found that of the 12 spec ed kids I had at one time, EVERY one of them had a lower than average IQ.

All I did--and I had 30 to 35 kids in my classes--was to wander around the room and make sure the slower kids understood what we were doing. They were no trouble. They were fun to teach, and it felt good to see them doing well.

I did some digging when I read that comment in the paper. Read how the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act now defines intellectual disability. Since 2010, IDEA has defined intellectual disability as a “sub average general intellectual functioning.”

Let's see-e-e-e....

Sub: Below Average: The middle General intellectual functioning: Ability to think.

So "sub average general intellectual functioning" now is actually defined as below average in IQ. Well, that's half the kids in the school, isn't it?

It's up to you, folks. Do you really think we needed to spend almost three times as much on education as a nation in 2010 ($562 billion) as we did in in 1990 ($205 billion), or SIX times as much as we did in 1980 ($97 billion)?

The difference? SPECIAL EDUCATION!

If you are a teacher and you need to spend a little more time with the slower kids, go do it! I did; why can't you?

What am I saying? My honest opinion is that we may have as much as three times as many special ed classes as we actually need.


Pat Randall 3 years, 10 months ago

Think of the money the school collects for each child. Maybe we need better teachers. Orthopedic impairment. Is it permanent? Being in a wheel chair is no excuse for special ed. My son went to school on crutches with all ten toes having been operated on at the same time. He did not use a wheel chair. He walked. It was a long walk to classes at Mesa Community College at the time, but he never missed a class. And the school did nothing to help nor did they collect any money. Kids 3 years old in school is ridiculous. Maybe they are tired of school by the time they get to 2nd or 3rd grade. Go back to letting kids be kids and start the first grade when they are 6 yrs old. Give the first grade teacher something to teach them, and no pills to keep them in a drugged state. No wonder they can't learn. Some of the kids that shouldn't be in special ed. are marked for life. Causes emotional problems later. I know of one child that was in Payson School for a year that could not see, sit up or talk, was practically a vegetable. Would never be able to function or learn anything but she attended school and her mother stayed there all day. The school collected money for this child. Wonder what the money was used for? Yes, I knew the mother and child personally. They came from the Navajo Nation and collected money from there and the state.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 10 months ago


You struck nerve when you mentioned Head Start, which is what you are talking about when you speak of kids being in school too early in life. Does no good! Is a proven failure! I'll put up a separate string on it.

As to Special Ed, there is no feeling much better than seeing some kid who needs special help getting that help and succeeding. It just seems so right!

But what started out as a move to get special help for special kids has turned into THE largest waste of money this nation has ever seen. I know. Remember, I have been there and I have seen the program with my own two eyes. I worked at Carson Junior High, a locus of special ed classes, in Mesa for more than ten years and saw for myself what a farce the program had become.

I began teaching in civilian life in 1975. With my own shocked and disbelieving eyes I have watched a wonderfully effective school system become a mockery, a sinkhole into which billions of tax dollars are poured each year--and for which we get NOTHING!

Look at these numbers. They say it all:

In the 1960's, a time when I had kids in schools and was in education but still in the Air Force, a time when our educational system was the best in the world, we spent just $14 billion a year, or a total of $375 a student at local, state, and federal levels.

In 1980--just a few years ago--we had 41 million kids in school. We had 2,407,000 teachers. We spent $97 billion.

By 1990, with the same number of students (actually a million less) we now had half a million more teachers, the number of kids per class had fallen to just 13 per classroom, and we were spending $205 billion, most of the added cost in salaries for teachers and aides for special education.

2000: 46 million kids, hardly more than 1980. A million and a half more teachers. And an incredible $372 billion. That is 25 TIMES what we spent in 1980! Were we getting 25 times as much?

And by 2010, while only teaching only one fifth more kids than we taught in 1980, we were spending 40 times as much--an obscene $562 billion to pay 4,200,000 teachers to handle just 11 kids per classroom.

It is a scam, plain and simple. Want to cut the budget? This is where you start. Every earning American is taxed over $4,000 each year to pay for schools.

It has GOT to stop.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.