State Service System Is Illogical, Immoral And 'Almost Certainly
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 30, 2002
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA--Here's something you don't see everyday.
The editorial that ran in Saturday's Asheville Citizen-Times blasted the state's service system for children with developmental disabilities, saying that not only is it "illogical and immoral, it also is almost certainly illegal."
The writer of this opinion piece hit one proverbial "nail on the head" by pointing out that the state continues to pour money into expensive institutions (at an annual rate of $122,691 per person) instead of putting it together with federal money to strengthen community-based supports (at an annual rate of $42,000 per person).
Hundreds of children have been waiting several years for community based services. Under the current system, however, the state must provide services in an institution for a child whose parents choose to make a ward of the state -- as an entitlement.
It also notes that some parents are ready to sue the state for violating the 1999 Olmstead ruling, a US Supreme Court decision which found that keeping people in institutions unnecessarily is a "serious and pervasive form of discrimination".