In 2014, The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., launched an investigation into the state of special education in Mississippi. They uncovered a range of abuses and troubling trends, most notably that, on average, only 23 percent of Mississippi’s students with special needs were graduating from high school. In many districts, that number was in the low single digits.
This investigation highlighted what many already knew: Mississippi’s most vulnerable children were being left behind, and this pattern wouldn’t stop unless policymakers took action.
Seventh-grader Lanna Beard was one of those vulnerable students. Lanna was adopted as an infant and diagnosed with visual perception disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome and severe ADD. These conditions make it hard for Lanna to process and retain information, focus, and stay on task. Routine activities are exceedingly difficult. Unfortunately, her assigned district school was unable to meet her needs. Lanna’s parents were even told she would never graduate. For Lanna’s parents, who knew she was capable of more, this was unacceptable.
Read the full story on The Washington Examiner.