©2010 Chicago Tribune/Alex Garcia
A special education teacher lifts a severely disabled preschooler to “circle time” during a morning preschool class at Frederick Stock School on the northwest side of Chicago. The school, which serves children with special needs, is yet another institution getting swept up in the embarrassing failings of the Illinois budget. The school faces drastic cuts under current proposed reductions. Our story goes into some of the details, but there are always fears, possibilities and uncertainty that ripples through the hearts of concerned parents and beleagured educators that can’t be fully conveyed in words. Many states are grappling with their lack of money. In Illinois, things are a little different. Corruption, waste and political cowardice in Illinois has made the state something of a joke in the national media, and it has made our finances worse. You might not need an up-close look at special needs children to get angry about all this, but it’s an urgent reminder of the vulnerable who suffer the consequences.