Growing up with cerebral palsy, Allison Cardwell more than understands what going to school with a disability is like. However, considering Betsy DeVos' stance on government funding, Allison felt the need to explain to the new education secretary something that she just doesn't seem to understand.
"You say that accommodations for children with disabilities would be unduly burdensome on schools. Your goal is to cut government spending," Allison wrote on Facebook. "You say that schools should have a choice. The thing is, for me, and so many others like me, an education is the only choice."
Allison explained that the use of both her arms and legs is limited due to her medical condition but she learned from an early age that it didn't have to stop her. "There are virtually no jobs I could work without a formal education. If I tried to flip a burger, it'd end up on the floor," she wrote. "Growing up, I always knew that to make up for my physical limitations, I'd have to rely on my mind."
For Allison's parents, finding a progressive and accessible learning environment was their number-one priority, but their grateful daughter realizes that for some children, a public education is their only option. "Providing children with a fair chance to learn is the first step in ending a cycle of dependence on public assistance. My education is the only reason I no longer rely on government benefits," Allison wrote. "Without jobs that pay well and provide healthcare, what choice will these children have but to fall back on the very government that failed them in the first place?"
Thanks to the education that Allison received, she understands that children are America's future and that there is a simple solution to Betsy's financial focus. "If you want to cut government spending in the long run, give countless disabled children a fighting chance to succeed," Allison wrote. "As a billionaire, I would have thought you'd have a better understanding of investments."