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An Ideology That Focuses on No. 1

April 27, 1985

I am sickened, but not surprised, by the report made by Gardner that federal funding for educating the poor and handicapped is "counterproductive" and has "destroyed quality in education."

It is typical of this Administration's stance that if people want to "make it" in America they must be rich/WASP--to hell with the rest!

My son, who is neurologically handicapped, has been in California special education classes for 12 years and it has been an uphill struggle just to get an education for him. In order to become a viable, self-supporting human being in his community it has taken many years of fighting for his human rights in obtaining an education, both academic and vocational.

Now we have a President who, although he would rather have eliminated the Department of Education altogether, has instead apparently staffed it with people who continue to validate the American public's prejudices and perverse needs for stereotyping individuals.

How can anyone respect a government that tells parents that their son or daughter's fate is determined by "spiritual" or "genetic factor" and no amount of money or effort to educate them is of any use?

GINGER REED

Santa Ana

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