Local concern Senate treaty could have negative impact on schools

By Jim McCabe on November 10 at 8:00am

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A United Nations treaty that may be acted upon on Tuesday by a U.S. Senate Committee could threaten the existence of several Jacksonville schools.

That’s according to Jacksonville education advocate Lonnie Johns, who says the Illinois Schools for the Visually Impaired and Deaf, Garrison Alternative Center and Pathway School could all be affected by a U.N. treaty on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Johns, who chaired a committee of the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce for over a decade dedicated to stopping “full inclusion” efforts in Illinois and in Congress, says that language is included in the treaty.

Johns says that could mean each and every child with a disability in America would be fully required to participate in a regular general education classroom setting.

Johns says the treaty failed to pass last year in part because of objections from homeschoolers.

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is scheduled to hold a final hearing on the treaty on Tuesday, and Johns says he has attempted to contact Senator Dick Durbin about the issue, but has thus far been unable to reach him.