Re: DSM: Is democracy for everyone?

rhonda goebel (
Wed, 04 Aug 1999 13:31:01 +0000

This really speaks to the limitations in relying solely on tuition,
which may end up excluding large numbers of people, for special needs
and other reasons. What are people's ideas and thoughts on other ways
of financing democratic/free schools?

Sharon Stanfill wrote:
> The wheelchair question is indeed a difficult one - and affects
> not only new startups but also established schools, whose buildings
> cannot always be modified for reasonable amounts. (There's not always
> room for an elevator for example.)
> The extreme example of the student who needs round the clock
> doctor's supervision, as a note, is not so far fetched as one
> might suppose. There is a child in some public school system who
> does , in fact, need a fairly highly trained aide at all times.
> The cost is something like $50,000/year (for 9-3 , school year).
> There's a lot of debate about where that money should come from.
> And, this is likely to be more and more signicant - modern medicine
> allows us to save infants with severe problems who would have died
> a generation ago. That's wonderfull - but one must plan for the
> fact that they are likely to require much more money to educate.
> "Special needs" is too broad a classification to say much about - some
> kids in this category are merely making life hard for the teachers
> because they just don't fit the classroom easily - too smart, too dumb,
> too fidgety...while others have major physical and mental challenges
> that must be dealt with in some way.

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