[nfbwatlk] OSB One Step Closer to Demise

Prows, Bennett (HHS/OCR) Bennett.Prows at HHS.GOV
Mon Jun 1 15:51:39 UTC 2009

Just one more sign that the Oregon legislature doesn't like blind folks
getting proper education, here's an article published in the Friday, May
29, 2009 Oregonian.

Note that the representative from Corvallis "spearheading" the efforts
to close the school is a parent with a child with a disability . So this
makes her an expert on education of blind children?  Don't even know
what disability it is.  If it isn't blindness, it could be like a
football coach telling a baseball player how to bat. If her child isn't
blind, it is still possible that child doesn't need Braille, or cane
travel, etc, which are mostly not available in local school districts.
But, in this time of money shortages, they'll take it from those that
are perceived as the easiest marks. 




Bennett Prows


Oregon School for the Blind one step closer to closing

by Betsy Hammond, The Oregonian 

Friday May 29, 2009, 12:22 PM

Oregon's House of Representatives voted 41-18 this afternoon to close
the Oregon School for the Blind this summer.

It marked the first vote by a full legislative chamber to change the way
Oregon educates blind and visually impaired students. Two committees had
already given overwhelming approval to the idea.

House members from both parties agreed that the state should redirect
the millions now spent providing specialized services to about 30 blind
and visually impaired students at the Salem boarding school. It costs
about about $140,000 per student per year to run the school.

The money spent operating the school would instead to go serve those
students in their local public schools and also to upgrade the services
provided to hundreds of other blind and visually impaired students
already being educated in their local schools.

House Education Chairwoman Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, the parent of a
child with disabilities, has spearheaded the drive to change the way
blind and visually impaired students are educated in Oregon.

She says blind students are best served when they can live at home and
attend school with non-disabled peers. Champions of the Salem school say
blind students need the specialized help and the fellowship with other
visually impaired young people that they can only get at the Oregon
School for the Blind.

The Senate still needs to make a decision on the issue.


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