Many states have made progress in integrating students with special needs into regular classrooms. They've also helped them get ready for the world of work by allowing them to stay in school until they are 21. That can mean on-site job training, as well as other programs to help parents and students adapt to work in a larger community.
Yet cash-strapped states, looking for budget cuts, are considering eliminating such services one of the most important programs for children and youth with special needs.
People with disabilities already are significantly unemployed and underemployed after leaving school. The loss of transition services stands to increase that problem.
Further, individuals with disabilities often need adult day programs and other community habilitation services. Without them, the risk is too great that they'll be left alone, forfeiting skills gained in a state's educational system. Without them, too, a parent or caregiver's livelihood can be profoundly affected.
Society has recognized that it owes such individuals the benefit of care. And caring individuals should see to it that they get it.