- - Friday, July 11, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

It is disconcerting to read of the Los Angeles Board of Education’s costly and “failed $1 billion iPad giveaway” for every student in the Unified School District (“iFiasco in the classroom,” Web, July 10). I wonder how many of those children come to school hungry or without pencils and paper.

The “iFiasco” caught our attention after we got a recent glimpse into Virginia’s group-home system for disabled adults. After taking a recent tour, we did some browsing online and came up with a 26-page list of residential facilities in Virginia with approximately 34 entries per page. We couldn’t help noticing on our tour that each of the homes was located in a pricey neighborhood beyond the financial reach of many. It is reflective of the extent to which the local, state and federal governments are willing to invest in disabled adults’ living arrangements in the waning years rather than providing appropriate education in their formative years. Where did all this capital suddenly come from?

This is not to criticize these group homes per se. It is the state system we are trying to understand. The group-home industry is the caboose on the runaway train. It is puzzling to us concerned, taxpaying parents that the state would give short shrift to and punish our daughter’s education when she needed it the most, then hold out luxurious accommodations as a carrot after a failed educational process. Our daughter, like many, is waiting to be served. But she’s our child, not a number.

This is just one more example of taxpayer money being spent in the wrong places.

HELEN WIECH

Montclair, Va.

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