Children Denied Right to an Education

March 9, 2004

In Pennsylvania, state cutbacks in funding for education have become so severe that 29 state-licensed, nonprofit schools which provide education for some of the most vulnerable children are in danger of closing.

Under the Pennsylvania school system, the state government pays 60% of the costs for every child enrolled in "Approved Private Schools" which educate about 4,000 children with such problems as severe mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy and emotional disorders. But Pennsylvania's Department of Education stopped paying these schools last spring and today owes $30 million.

As a result some of the schools are in danger of closing, others are going deeply into debt and many have no choice but to refuse to enroll students referred by the state government.

The net result is that thousands of children are being denied their right to an education.