Interview with Former Minnesota Governor Al Quie: Part Three

Part One    Part Two Article: "State Policy Grew Out of a Spiritual Journey" (Run time 2:26)

Al Quie discusses where Special Education will go in the future and whether obtaining funding will always be difficult.

Well, the one big problem we have affecting all of special education is that it is mandatory legislation and it is not fully funded and that is wrong. I believe special education is going to have strong supporters. It needs people who are advocates.

It will always be a necessity of working with the legislative body and the administration on it. It is not going to be on everybody's radar but there are some people who God gives them an opportunity, it can be on their radar and they need to work together, and in so doing it, it's not just legislation; it is not just programs; it has to be people, as well. And so, anytime people will share their own story, that's what's significant, sharing your own story.

We tend to say, "Well my story is not important. Most of my life I was that way, or at least the first half," until you realize when you share our stories, now we come together in helping each other to solve the problems that exist because when we share our stories we share our values. I'm not optimistic, because I wish that we could have fully funded I-D-E-A.

I wish as a federal government we could do that. I think we laid the mandate down, and anybody who lays down a mandate; put up the money. I wish that was it. But I don't see it out there. I wish the school districts did not have to balance between that, because they have to fulfill the mandate and take money away from someplace else, I don't see that out there.

And one of the reasons is, what I talked about earlier, that it hasn't been personalized high enough, not only the emotional and moral part of it, but to understand the contributions to society that individuals who we say have a disability can make to us to make our lives better. It's worth it.