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Michigan Lt. Governor Unhappy With Current Special Education Format

Brian Calley
Wikipedia Media Commons

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley is pushing for changes in the state's special education system.

Calley outlined findings of his special education listening tour and survey on Tuesday to the state Board of Education.  Of almost 2,000 parents surveyed, 24 percent said their child had been subjected to restraints or seclusion.

“There really is one place that is left where a child can go where they are not protected from the inhumane and barbaric practice of the use of restraints and seclusion for behavioral modification purposes – that is in schools,” Calley told board members.  “There are laws, rules, and restrictions on using restraints and seclusion rooms in prisons.”

The lieutenant governor also called for improving special education services and increasing access to them. Calley – who has a daughter with autism - says many districts aren’t giving students the support or attention they need.  “Special education students are really the only students that we see regularly where there potential is assumed on the front end. And I think that’s a travesty.”

Some members of the Board of Education responded to the report by calling for more special education funding. Calley says there are fundamental changes that need to happen before lawmakers debate a funding increase.

Results of Calley's special education listening tour

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