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Monday, May 29, 2017

Portable IEPs for Military Families

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families.

At RealClearEducation, Mark K. Claypool and John M. McLaughlin propose reallocating federal education money to special education.
[Use] a portion to create a portable Individualized Education Program (IEP) program for children with special needs within the United States military. If a child has autism and the IEP calls for applied behavior analysis and speech/language services at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the child should have the same disability and IEP-specified programming at Fort Campbell, Kentucky or Fort Hood, Texas.
Furthermore, the additional money could be used to upgrade special education programs on military installments and those in adjacent public school districts to state-of-the-art. Fortunately, some military-based and adjacent schools are already exemplary, but too many are not. Tie this program enhancement funding to existing impact-aid formulas. Superior special education programs available to military families will have a positive impact on morale, recruitment, retention and, most importantly, on the students’ lives. In addition, having model special education programs in adjacent public school districts is a huge chamber of commerce win. Families move to school districts offering their child with special needs the best opportunity. What school superintendent wouldn’t love to have families move to the district for the quality of its special education program?