Parents of special-needs kids still battle school districts. Teachers and administrators still lack training. Students still fall through the cracks.
And Mississippi’s special needs, four-year graduation rate still remains one of the lowest in the nation, the most recent figure putting it at 23 percent. For comparison’s sake, most states award diplomas to 50 percent or more of their students with disabilities.
The state Department of Education has yet to release its most recent numbers, though, so Mississippi’s rate might now be higher. Or lower.
No one understands the cost of this broken system better than parents of special-needs students. They watch their children languish in subpar programs, then must financially support them as adults when they can’t find jobs.
It should not be this way, not when 11 percent of the state’s total public school enrollment has a disability.
Mississippi lawmakers could do nothing and wait one more year. Or they could give parents a tool in educating their own children when the school districts fail them.