Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Walker Editorial tries to Shame Justice Department into backing off School Choice Discrimination investigation.

One party could not be this hypocritical...or could they?

For a party that continues to seek out proof Obama messed up Benghazi, might be to blame for the mess in Iraq, possibly faked his birth certificate, and broke the law with signing statements, they’re now crying foul over the Department of Justice’s investigation into possible discrimination against students with disabilities in the school choice programs? Amazing!

And Scott Walker is leading the down-the-rabbit-hole charge by saying that without proof, how can the justice department turn up...proof? It’s like calling off the John Doe investigation to uncover wrong doing because there’s no proof of wrong doing. My head is hurting now.

Along with being one of the dumbest excuses yet, Walker and Jindal seem to think that without parental complaints, laws weren't broken. Basically, we're supposed to believe the word of business. Plus, Walker chose to ignore the fact that school choice had expanded well beyond minority groups:
jsonline: Gov. Scott Walker has co-authored a commentary in Politico Magazine with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal criticizing the Obama Administration for challenging school choice programs in Wisconsin and Louisiana.

In the piece: "Why would the federal Department of Justice cite the Civil Rights Act and the specter of segregation to try and block a school choice program where more than nine in 10 participants come from racial minority groups? Or use the Americans with Disabilities Act to claim another school voucher program discriminates against individuals with disabilities, without so much as a single complaint from a student or parent to prove their case?"

The two governors are citing a National Review commentary co-authored by Rick Esenberg and C.J. Szafir, both of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, criticizing a Department of Justice inquiry into whether private schools in Wisconsin were turning away students with disabilities.

Ellen Canale, public affairs specialist at the Justice Department, said the agency was working to make sure school choice programs are adhering to civil rights laws.
If laws weren't broken, then why is Walker and Jindal opposed to looking into the choice program? After all, the public has a right to know how their money is being spent, right?

UPDATE: I thought this comment was important enough to include in this post:

The Walker/Jindal statement about there being no parent complaints is misleading/untrue on two levels.

Level 1: The fact is that no formal state complaint mechanism exists... in other words, if we do not allow official complaints, then there will be none.

Level 2: But there WERE complaints. In the absence of a state complaint mechanism, families of students with special needs took their charges to Disability Rights Wisconsin and the ACLU. Those two organizations filed a formal complaint in 2011, which in turn led to the very DOJ investigation that the Politico piece is decrying! In other words, it's all ABOUT the family complaints!

A summary of some of those family complaints was published in a Journal Sentinel column in May 2013.

The ACLU has also responded in a July 8 piece of their own.

To me, the most disturbing thing about the Walker/Jindal column is the way it "disappears" families of students with special needs. Their experiences of discrimination, that they documented to DRW and the ACLU, apparently simply don't exist, because they've been declared not to exist. 


An ACLU article highlighted this reason for asking documentation:
"DPI must further ensure that voucher schools, absent a valid ADA defense, do not expel/exit a student with a disability unless the school has first determined, on a case-by-case basis, that there are no reasonable modifications to school policies, practices or procedures that could enhance the school's capacity to serve that student."

2 comments:

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Correct John. Just like with John Doe Deux, methinks they protest a bit too much here, and don't want people to see what might be found.

The persecution complex with this crew is so tiresome.

AnnieJo said...

The Walker/Jindal statement about there being no parent complaints is misleading/untrue on two levels.

Level 1: The fact is that no formal state complaint mechanism exists... in other words, if we do not allow official complaints, then there will be none.

Level 2: But there WERE complaints. In the absence of a state complaint mechanism, families of students with special needs took their charges to Disability Rights Wisconsin and the ACLU. Those two organizations filed a formal complaint in 2011, which in turn led to the very DOJ investigation that the Politico piece is decrying! In other words, it's all ABOUT the family complaints!

A summary of some of those family complaints was published in a Journal Sentinel column in May 2013: http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/special-ed-vouchers-wont-end-discrimination-ha9sa6v-206667501.html

The ACLU has also responded in a July 8 piece of their own: https://medium.com/@aclu/a-war-worth-fighting-29df60b58705

To me, the most disturbing thing about the Walker/Jindal column is the way it "disappears" families of students with special needs. Their experiences of discrimination, that they documented to DRW and the ACLU, apparently simply don't exist, because they've been declared not to exist.