Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

White House requires school athletics for disabled

Posted by   + Show Post


Says changes are necessary to level the playing field

In a sweeping move that will affect all American schools, the Obama administration has told districts they must offer students with disabilities the same sports opportunities as other children.

Schools now must include disabled students in existing athletic programs or provide them with equal alternatives. The directive is a huge victory for disability-rights advocates and it immediately drew praise from many in the education sector. But others fear that the new requirements will blow up school district budgets at a time when few have money to spare.

The federal government argues the new rule is necessary to level the playing field for all U.S. children.

“Sports can provide invaluable lessons in discipline, selflessness, passion and courage, and this guidance will help schools ensure that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to benefit from the life lessons they can learn on the playing field or on the court,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement.

The move comes just after the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark law that required schools and colleges to offer equal athletic opportunities to women. Unlike Title IX, however, the Education Department’s latest “guidance” to school districts isn’t technically a new law. Rather, it’s a new interpretation of the existing Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prevents discrimination against disabled students.

While the new guidance does not require disabled students be allowed entry into any sports program they choose, it does require schools to make adjustments to how they run their athletic teams. For example, school track teams must use a “visual cue” alongside a starter pistol so children with hearing impairments can run and not be at a disadvantage.

The guidance likely will lead to more schools offering wheelchair basketball or similar programs to disabled students.

“It’s going to open up a whole new door of opportunity to our nation’s school children with disabilities,” said Bev Vaughn, executive director of the nonprofit American Association of Adapted Sports Programs.

The National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, also applauded the move.

“All students have the human and civil right to a quality public education with equal access that develops their potential, independence and character,” the labor group said in a statement.

The guidance has its roots in a 2010 study by the Government Accountability Office that found students with disabilities participate in sports at much lower rates. Supporters of the Education Department’s new policy acknowledge that fixing that gap will be difficult.

“Is it easy? No,” said Brad Hedrick, director of disability services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Hall of Famer in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. “But it is feasible and possible that a meaningful and viable programming can be created.”

The Education Department has given no firm timetable for when districts must comply with the guidance. It’s also unclear whether federal funding will be provided to states and schools, or whether they’ll be required to fund additional programs or modify existing ones on their own dime.

Critics believe that the idea, while noble, may amount to yet another unfunded federal mandate.

“This is a worthy area for discussion and policymaking, but the [government] needs to tread lightly here because of the potentially complicated and expensive ways this guidance could be interpreted,” said Michael J. Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative think tank.

Story Continues →



by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:23 AM
Replies (21-30):
futureshock
by Ruby Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:05 PM
6 moms liked this


Quoting candlegal:

I agree with you.   This is not coming at a very good time.   Many schools are already trying to figure out how to stop lay offs, etc. because of budget considerations.

Quoting radioheid:

 I'm trying to be a realist here---where is the money going to come from? Many schools are already cutting their art and music programs to save money in budget crunches. What will they take away next to accomodate this mandate?


Pro-life people who want to outlaw the aborting of any fetus, no matter how badly disabled the resulting child will be, should have to pay for it.

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:11 PM
2 moms liked this

This is wonderful.  It truly, truly is.  It's a shame it has not been this way up until now.

The money, the funding, is the issue.  

No child should have to sit on the side lines.

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:11 PM


Quoting futureshock:


Quoting candlegal:

I agree with you.   This is not coming at a very good time.   Many schools are already trying to figure out how to stop lay offs, etc. because of budget considerations.

Quoting radioheid:

 I'm trying to be a realist here---where is the money going to come from? Many schools are already cutting their art and music programs to save money in budget crunches. What will they take away next to accomodate this mandate?


Pro-life people who want to outlaw the aborting of any fetus, no matter how badly disabled the resulting child will be, should have to pay for it.

I absolutely have a crush on you right now. 

KamWorthy
by Silver Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Long time coming.

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:14 PM


Quoting FromAtoZ:

This is wonderful.  It truly, truly is.  It's a shame it has not been this way up until now.

The money, the funding, is the issue.  

No child should have to sit on the side lines.

Meh. A lot of it depends upon the location of the family and their district. It's not like school athletics have, up until now, refused to allow kids with disabilities to participate.


happinessforyou
by Bronze Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:22 PM

I have to wonder why the Federal Government keeps mandating programs for Special Needs (WITH NO ADDITIONAL FUNDING), yet does NOT require kids to, I don't know, READ? GRADUATE? DO MATH?

Which means that we as property owners get to have our taxes raised AGAIN. There has to be an end to this somewhere. There has to be a priority list because there is not enough $$ to cover the needs of every person, making life totally equal for everyone is never going to be attainable.

My kids have played Rec league, Little League, and Competitive Sports. If they did not play in HS, we played somewhere else. Let the private sector have ALL of the sports programs and lets get our kids ready to go out into the world as educated people!

radioheid
by Libertarian on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:12 PM

 I wish I could say the same. With the exception of 7th and 8th grade gym classes, gym was a joke. All you had to do was dress, stand on the gym floor and occasionally move from one spot to another to get an A, I kid you not.

I was on the varsity cross country team, which meant practice twice a day, minimum of 2 miles per practice (end of a taper before race day), typically 5 miles, up to 10. I also played softball, which was considerably more lax, but still quite a workout, especially during conditioning in the weight room.

Quoting eema.gray:

I got more exercie in P.E. class than playing volleyball or softball.  Truth be known, I was a terrible athlete and spent very little time actually moving during ball practices.  But our P.E. teacher was wonderful and made sure every girl (we had single sex P.E. at my private school) was actually moving for 45 minutes.

 

Quoting radioheid:

 Sports offer education in a very important part of human culture the world over, which is why virtually every high school in America, public and private, has an athletics program. I personally feel that at least one year's participation in a team sport should be required for high school graduation as part of each school's phys ed program. The lessons learned playing sports are invaluable, and cannot be learned in a classroom.

My only concern with the mandate is the lack of funding, and how very unrealistic this would be in a rural school that has just one or two handicapped kids in the entire student body.

Quoting talia-mom:

Then the school and the parents and the children fundraises for those without the money.    This is pointless to spend tens and tens thousands of dollars a year on activities that may help 1 in 1000 kids get a scholarship when teachers don't have enough supplies.

 

Quoting radioheid:

 Only the rich would be able to participate. The cost of shoes, under armor, practice balls and other gear not supplied by schools is already a barrier for many poor kids in school athletics. I had to buy my niece's soccer gear this past year, or she wouldn't have been able to play because her mother couldn't afford it. Just shoes, shin guards, a practice ball and water bottle set me back nearly a hundred bucks. Soccer is my niece's greatest shot at a college scholarship, so it is very important.

Quoting talia-mom:

Doesn't matter.  Tax the rich.

personally, I think parents should have to pay for all of athletics.

 

Quoting radioheid:

 I'm trying to be a realist here---where is the money going to come from? Many schools are already cutting their art and music programs to save money in budget crunches. What will they take away next to accomodate this mandate?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

NewMom11222011
by Bronze Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 2:02 PM

I'm pretty sure that any fetus badly enough disabled to have a doctor advocating it's destruction would not participate in any competitive sport during it's school years.


Pro-life people who want to outlaw the aborting of any fetus, no matter how badly disabled the resulting child will be, should have to pay for it.




BaronSamedi
by Bronze Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:03 PM

  Who is going to pay for this?  Another unfunded decree from Washington.  Taxes will have to go up to pay for another program some one thinks is cool.

Momniscient
by Ruby Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:17 PM
3 moms liked this

And how is the OP spinning this as a bad thing?

Goddamm President Obama. He obviously hates non disabled people.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)