May
1st 2009
House Education Committee Kills Choice for Autistic Kids, Angers Cap’n

Posted under Education Politics & Public Charter Schools & School Choice & State Legislature

I love rollercoasters, but not when my emotions are riding on them. This morning is the bottom of the hill, and the ride has been fast. I just found out that the House Education Committee has killed (though not “double-super-killed” this time) a chance to expand educational opportunity for Colorado’s autistic students.

Colorado Senate News has the sad details:

Senate Bill 130, authored by Senate GOP Whip Nancy Spence, was a groundbreaking proposal to create the state’s first charter school specifically serving children with autism. Spence, of Centennial, the GOP’s ranking member on the Senate Education Committee, won support for her bill on both sides of the aisle, including from Senate President Peter Groff. Groff, a Denver Democrat, has often made headlines with his advocacy of wide-ranging school reforms and is leaving his post at the end of the 2009 legislative session to help guide education policy in the Obama administration.

Yet, Spence says, it ironically was some of Groff’s fellow Democrats in the House who killed the bill this afternoon in the House Education Committe. Spence said she had been told earlier that if she didn’t agree to water her bill down, it likely couldn’t pass the House.

“This underscores a deep and growing rift over education reform in the other party,” Spence said. “When you look at how key Democrats on education policy like Peter Groff and (Denver Sen.) Chris Romer stood by this bill only to have their fellow party members defend the status quo and defeat this propsoal [sic] in the House, you have to wonder if the two sides are heading for a showdown at some point.”

I’m sure there’s something profound I should be able to say about the future dynamics of education policy within the Democratic Party.

But right now, I just feel like crying in my Cap’n Crunch. Let me tell you what: The Cap’n is pretty angry, too, about putting the interests of adult lobbying groups ahead of kids with autism. The fight for choice and opportunity isn’t over, and I’m certainly glad the Cap’n and his well-armed fleet of crispy, sugary goodness is on our side!

3 Comments »

3 Responses to “House Education Committee Kills Choice for Autistic Kids, Angers Cap’n”

  1. Ed is Watching » Silly Little Me, Making a Big Deal Out of Those Poor D.C. Kids & Their Vouchers on 12 May 2009 at 1:05 pm #

    [...] I’m not very serious. Of course, you probably already knew that. Golly, I’m a little kid who writes about the world of education policy and occasionally cites Kermit the Frog and Cap’n Crunch. [...]

  2. Ed is Watching » Georgia Parents of Special-Needs Students Love Their School Choice, Too on 18 Aug 2009 at 10:58 am #

    [...] Georgia survey just makes me and Cap’n Crunch that much angrier that legislators right here in Colorado killed an attempt to create just a modest version of a [...]

  3. GoBash.org » Blog Archive » Oklahoma Governor Makes Good Choice to Sign Special-Needs Scholarship Bill… Could Colorado Be Next? on 10 Jun 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    [...] As recently as last year, a more modest proposal to expand choice for special-needs students was killed by the Democrat-controlled House Education Committee — clearly a BAD move then. But could we expect officials in our state to do something GOOD [...]

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