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 (51-60):
funnymommy71
by Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 11:20 PM

 

I agree.  My kids do t-ball and baseball through our Town.  We pay for it and have help with Fundraisers that offset quite a bit of it. 

Quoting timeforprogress:

I think personally our obsession with school sports is a huge distraction from what school is actually for.  In our schools, the children who are eager to learn are overshadowed by the children who are athletic. 

I think sports should be something handled by communities and should be completely removed from public schools.  I just think the money could be better spent on math and science education.  Let parks and rec host athletics, and let schools be a place for education. 

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

taniamorse85
by Bronze Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 12:43 AM
1 mom liked this

It would be nice to see more sports opportunities for students with disabilities.  I have multiple physical disabilities, some of which I've had since birth, and I use a wheelchair most days.  When I was in middle and high schools, I was in 'adaptive' PE, which mostly consisted of playing board games in the cafeteria.  I longed for the opportunity to play sports, particularly basketball.


All that being said, I can't imagine these changes being implemented any time soon.  Schools are still cutting back on basics, and those cutbacks need to be undone before adaptive sports could possibly be added.

AdellesMom
by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 1:27 AM
I think it's a good idea. If a special needs child wants to play sports, they should.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Mysty_1961
by Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 1:59 AM

This is a feel good mandate which will be almost impossible to implement.  In addition to funding there are practical limitations.  I am not sure, but my guess is the average size of high schools across most states is 750-800 students, remember there are many small rural schools.  Again, I have no idea how many disabled kids would be in an average high school, but I will guess 30-35 which may be high.  Then if we say it is a 50 - 50 split between boys and girls that means about 15 each.  So what can be done to accommodate 15 boys or girls.  There will be a lot of different ambitions among these 15 so making up a team of any kind will be difficult at best.  The next step might be to combine schools or districts.  That might work, but if all the schools are combined where will the competition come from?  I suppose they could travel across the state or go to the next state over.  If this happens there is going to be more expense with the special buses that will be required and maybe overnight stays.  I am not making light of the disabled as they deserve the best life possible just like everyone else, but we all have limitations in one form or the other and we have to learn to live withing our limitation.  Everyone can not and should not be the same.

SEEKEROFSHELLS
by Platinum Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 2:21 AM

 Great comment. I had NO idea adaptive PE consists of Board games in the cafeteria. Thanks for teaching me. Shameful.


Quoting taniamorse85:

It would be nice to see more sports opportunities for students with disabilities.  I have multiple physical disabilities, some of which I've had since birth, and I use a wheelchair most days.  When I was in middle and high schools, I was in 'adaptive' PE, which mostly consisted of playing board games in the cafeteria.  I longed for the opportunity to play sports, particularly basketball.


All that being said, I can't imagine these changes being implemented any time soon.  Schools are still cutting back on basics, and those cutbacks need to be undone before adaptive sports could possibly be added.



taniamorse85
by Bronze Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 2:37 AM

I'm sure it depends on the school and the district.  My high school, which was the only high school in the district that was wheelchair-accessible (out of about 10 total HSs in the district), was craptastic when it came to making reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.  I know it really frustrated the teacher I had for the APE class because he was certified specifically for adaptive PE, and he couldn't do what he was trained to do.  He ultimately quit teaching at high schools, and I had him for APE classes at a community college.  There, we were able to do a variety of physical activities.


Quoting SEEKEROFSHELLS:

 Great comment. I had NO idea adaptive PE consists of Board games in the cafeteria. Thanks for teaching me. Shameful.


Quoting taniamorse85:

It would be nice to see more sports opportunities for students with disabilities.  I have multiple physical disabilities, some of which I've had since birth, and I use a wheelchair most days.  When I was in middle and high schools, I was in 'adaptive' PE, which mostly consisted of playing board games in the cafeteria.  I longed for the opportunity to play sports, particularly basketball.


All that being said, I can't imagine these changes being implemented any time soon.  Schools are still cutting back on basics, and those cutbacks need to be undone before adaptive sports could possibly be added.





candlegal
by Judy on Jan. 26, 2013 at 7:15 AM

You do realize that some people know they are pregnant with a special needs child and choose to have them anyway.   I am sure you would't understand that type of thinking.

Why don't you volunteer to work for the government and pick out who is pro life and who isn't and you can send them the bill.  You wouild fit right in with the rest of those gubment employees

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.


JTROX
by Gold Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Schools can't afford this. Instead of providing more opportunities it will take them away.

Aslen
by Silver Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 8:05 AM
1 mom liked this

Yup. She's so overtly racist it's not even funny; it's sad


Quoting lga1965:

 Thats for sure. (the Highlighted last sentence...)

Quoting Momniscient:

Perhaps a compromise then. I too agree that sports can be a huge distraction--particularly boys football and basketball. However team sports and personal athletics are an awesome tool in education.

I wonder what a good compromise would be. Also I read in the article that this is not a new mandate. Simply a reinterpretation. The OP just looks for shit to try to make that brown guy in office look bad.

Quoting Bigmetalchicken:

Around here, the sports programs bring a great deal of money into the school.  Also, the sports programs are the only reason many of the students even bother trying in school, because they know if they do not pass, they do not play. It is not always black and white.

Quoting timeforprogress:

I think personally our obsession with school sports is a huge distraction from what school is actually for.  In our schools, the children who are eager to learn are overshadowed by the children who are athletic. 

I think sports should be something handled by communities and should be completely removed from public schools.  I just think the money could be better spent on math and science education.  Let parks and rec host athletics, and let schools be a place for education. 

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?



 



 




 



candlegal
by Judy on Jan. 26, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Yeah, that's what it is, ROFL

You keep forgetting I don't like his white half either.

Quoting Aslen:

Yup. She's so overtly racist it's not even funny; it's sad


Quoting lga1965:

 Thats for sure. (the Highlighted last sentence...)

Quoting Momniscient:

Perhaps a compromise then. I too agree that sports can be a huge distraction--particularly boys football and basketball. However team sports and personal athletics are an awesome tool in education.

I wonder what a good compromise would be. Also I read in the article that this is not a new mandate. Simply a reinterpretation. The OP just looks for shit to try to make that brown guy in office look bad.

Quoting Bigmetalchicken:

Around here, the sports programs bring a great deal of money into the school.  Also, the sports programs are the only reason many of the students even bother trying in school, because they know if they do not pass, they do not play. It is not always black and white.

Quoting timeforprogress:

I think personally our obsession with school sports is a huge distraction from what school is actually for.  In our schools, the children who are eager to learn are overshadowed by the children who are athletic. 

I think sports should be something handled by communities and should be completely removed from public schools.  I just think the money could be better spent on math and science education.  Let parks and rec host athletics, and let schools be a place for education. 

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?



 



 




 




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)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN