Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Good job, Pete.

One of Pete Sessions's most recent self-declared achievements is getting federal funds to send the mentally retarded to college. (Allow me to put a disclaimer here: I am not a bigot and do not despise the mentally retarded. I do, however, think that sending them to college is absurd.)

Here's a gem from his press release:
Currently, approximately 94 higher education institutions nationwide offer programs for students with intellectual disabilities (mental retardation). However, these students are not able to access federal work-study funds due to disqualifying factors such as the absence of a high school diploma...
I recognize that I'm going to college without getting my high school diploma, but I could easily achieve a diploma over the summer - there's just no point. Those who cannot achieve a high school diploma should probably not go to college. Naturally the goal of employability is a great one for these people, but sending them to college is just dumb. The stupidity doesn't end there:
"This amendment creates no new federal program and, therefore, requires no cost to the federal government," Sessions added.
No additional cost, that is. ("requires no cost to the federal government" is some very twisted English...) It is, however, at a cost to the "normal" students who would be getting that money (since if no new money is added, it must be being diluted) - and since the idea of public education is that it benefits society, I don't think it's morally reprehensible to say that educating the mentally retarded is far less useful than education more capable students.

The mentally retarded have lots of charities dedicated to their help - which is awesome. This money, however, would be better served going to more capable students or, even better, staying with the people it was taken from (that means you if you pay taxes) and being donated by personal choice to the abovementioned charities.


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