|To the editor:
In six days my daughter will turn 14 years old. When I was pregnant and learned I was having a girl, naturally I dreamed of all the things little girls love to do: dolls, tea parties, pretend weddings. I imagined her teenage years and all of the angst, fights over clothes, boys, the phone, school, etc. All the typical teenage things daughters fight with their mothers over.
Now, instead of fighting with my daughter over school, I am finding myself in a fight to save her school. You see, my daughter is severely handicapped and attends a State School for Severely Handicapped Children. She was placed in the school after several years in co-op school where they determined her disabilities too severe for them to service her needs. Since she has been in the state school system, she has made tremendous progress. She is where she belongs, and should have been since she was old enough to attend the state school.
But, in an attempt to balance his budget, Gov. Blunt has called for a study to determine the feasiblity of keeping the state chools open. The study is now complete and it does not look good for the state schools. Gov. Blunt has made it his policy to make budget cuts to the poor (medicaid), senior citizens (medicare), handicapped adults (Bellfountain Neighbors), handicapped toddlers (Firts Steps) and now he is going to try to close the state schools for these children, children who do not belong in a public school setting. If they did, they already would be there.
Please get involved and help us help our children; they cannot fight for themselves. Write to your Senators and Representatives and let them know closure of the state schools is not an acceptable solution to fix the Missouri budget. To find out more information log on to www.savemostateschools.org.
Cynthia L. Byrd