Dear Editor


Dear Editor,

There have been several articles in newspapers recently concerning the Florida public school system. The issue brought to the court is stated to be a 1998 constitutional amendment that says “it is the paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for education of all children residing within its borders.”

The Judge George Reynolds may have recognized what a “can of worms” he is dealing with. With the judge’s comments as this was a “difficult Issue.” For example, the state has yet to legally define the meaning of or definition of a “ public education” nor has it defined “education opportunity.” The public and taxpayers have very high expectations for the public education system. Some years ago and continuing, Florida’s public schools have made an effort to incorporate within its programs children that were once housed in institutional settings. Most often, public schools lack staffing and training to adequately meet the needs of this population. Some examples would be mental illness and brain damage syndromes. One example for your thoughts was a child committed to the Georgia Retardation Center (Atlanta). He was hydrocephalic (fluid on the brain) and had brittle bone disease. He required almost constant and careful care, both physically and socially. While his disabilities were constant, he had a good mind and leadership skills recognized by others around him. As he grew to a young adult he learned accounting and later was hired in that field as a young adult. A success story with a lot of support and effort to provide the opportunities for achievement.

Most successful businesses have a business plan that sets goals and outlines the financial resources knowledge, skills and requirements to reach their stated goals. When businesses overreach in expansion or in new areas, they often find themselves beyond their capability unless good planning has proceeded that effort.

The State of Florida and its public schools have accepted the challenge to meet every child’s educational needs and often other ancillary responsibilities beyond their traditional ones. I wish the judge the wisdom and the resources to bring about an ideal solution. There seems to be no “magic wand” available.

Henry C. Warner