Support Education in All its Facets
This is a feel-good story. Years back, a public grant enabled me to assist intellectually disabled adults to transition into the workforce. One woman, Susan, landed a job on an Avon Cosmetics assembly line. I was there to help her overcome the learning curve. When she independently mastered her responsibilities, the pride was palpable. For the first time in her life, at 45 years old, Susan was paying taxes rather than living off them.
For that small grant, taxpayers received a tenfold return on investment, Avon inherited their most enthusiastic employee, and Susan enjoyed her first taste of independence.
Imagine if Susan had been identified and educated at an earlier age. She was born before the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a federal mandate passed without objection by Congress and signed into law by George H.W. Bush. It requires all school districts to provide disabled children a free and appropriate public education.
Today, I’ve had the privilege to know many of Clinton’s special education teachers whose work is a direct result of that bipartisan law. They are exceedingly thoughtful and committed individuals this town can ill afford to lose. Their tireless efforts significantly benefit Clinton’s children, their loving families, and, ultimately, the economy.
I ask those who support education but rarely find time to vote to consider this: At 45, Susan dedicated months learning to put caps on lipstick; they need only 10 minutes to vote. I encourage your readers to circle May 13 on their calendars, support education in all its facets, and exit the Town Hall with their very own feel-good story.
Published April 16, 2015 – http://www.zip06.com/letters/20150416/support-education-in-all-its-facets