Michiganders rally for education

Parents want better special education programs
Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 3:34 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Dozens of Michiganders rallied for kids with Individualized Education Programs, 504′s and Nothing at the State Capitol.

“Conditions in Michigan are terrible. The outcomes, 26% of children with IEP’s are dropping out of school,” said Education Advocate Marcie Lipsitt.

This was the third education rally for Lipsitt since 2016.

“63% are earning questionable diplomas. Only 25% of 4th grade and 8th grade students with IEP’s are proficient in reading,” Lipsitt said.

Lilly Schulting is a disability advocate who is running to be a Representative for the 72nd House District. Her son, Bill, is a non-verbal16-year-old with autism.

“Special education, which was once amazing in Michigan, has also declined significantly. So much so that it was only a few years ago that it received an F grade from the Federal Government,” explained Schulting.

Education Attorney Catherine M. Michael spoke at the rally. She said the school systems need to be held accountable.

“There are some things that have not changed. One of them is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Another thing that hasn’t changed is the requirements of all schools in this state and around the country to be following that Act,” she said.

Civil Rights Attorney Allison Folmar told the public they need to come together to ignite change.

“We must ignite, excite and invite all parents to this progress," said Folmar. "Together we’ll provoke and agitate until we have the legislative change necessary to ensure that true truly, actually and absolutely no child is left behind.”

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