candlegal
White House requires school athletics for disabled
January 25, 2013 at 7:23 AM


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.

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Replies

  • Momniscient
    January 25, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Well then all pro life people should have to pay since they are trying to force all fetuses into the world.

    Quoting NewMom11222011:

    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.





  • Bigmetalchicken
    January 25, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    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?



     



     



  • Emilytrademark
    January 25, 2013 at 3:23 PM

     It sounds idealistic but it also sounds like a lot of money that we don't have.

  • Momniscient
    January 25, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    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?



     



     




  • Bigmetalchicken
    January 25, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    I don't understand why this is a big deal. I mean, most of the schools around here team with the special olympics to give the disabled kids a chance to compete. There are just not enough kids to form an entire seperate league.  Also, many times disabled kids were allowed on the teams. They may not have been first string, but they did get to play.

    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?



     



     





  • btamilee
    January 25, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    I have mixed feelings about the emphasis put on sports by our country.  I think sports are a good way to keep some kids in school, but I also feel that often schools invest too much money in their sports programs, and not enough in their curriculum.  As for the debate about sports programs for the disabled...I think if possible, then their should be everything done to allow for everyone to be involved, BUT....if it is a team sport, and a disabled student isn't *good enough* to make the team....then they should be treated just like any other student......who lacks the skills to make the team. 

  • Momniscient
    January 25, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Right. It isn't a big deal. It's just partisan crap that had Bush been in office the OP would have been applauding and sending money to.

    I probably would have said 'great! Wish it wasn't Bush so I didn't have to pretend to ignore it.' lol.

    Athletics get funded. We all know that the funding goes to the big ticket sports so there isn't a funding issue at all since we all know that a disabled child isn't going to be first string quarterback. So it falls back to the traditional ways that underfunded sports kids play. Parental involvement, fundraisers and donations.

    Quoting Bigmetalchicken:

    I don't understand why this is a big deal. I mean, most of the schools around here team with the special olympics to give the disabled kids a chance to compete. There are just not enough kids to form an entire seperate league.  Also, many times disabled kids were allowed on the teams. They may not have been first string, but they did get to play.

    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?



     



     






  • tambrathegreat
    January 25, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    This is bad in what way, again?  Oh, I'm sorry, rhymes with Randall Powell was just kvetching over nothing again, just because it was mandated by a black president. 

  • lga1965
    by lga1965
    January 25, 2013 at 6:26 PM

     But you just said that too much money is spent on athletics and physical education. Or are you saying that only this new directive to allow handicapped kids to participate in sports is too expensive and therefore unnecessary? Hmmm?

    But , here's the thing: I agree with the statement that too much time and  money is spent on Football, etc and not enough time is spent on science and other academics. How many people can continue to be " a football star" and earn a salary from it after high school? Kids need to study and prepare for college and an actual curriculum and choose a major and future career, not run around with a ball.

    Quoting radioheid:

     I learned more about physiology from my high school cross country coach than I did in 4 years of high school science. Sports play a crucial role in physical education, IMO.

    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?

     

     

     

     

     

     


     

     

  • lga1965
    by lga1965
    January 25, 2013 at 6:29 PM

     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?