Alexandria school program for the city's 1,300 handicapped children have been praised by a review team of state educators, but the team's report also cites 12 areas of "noncompliance" with state and federal laws governing the education of the handicapped.
The state report, presented at last night's city school board meeting, gives few specific instances to document the allegations of noncompliance. School Superintendent John L. Bristol said "the use of the word noncompliance is a misuse of the term. We have been religiously attempting to be in compliance . . . and there's no evidence that we're not." The school staff has been communicating with state officials since the report was first released in June, attempting to clarify the noncompliance issue.
The city has 1,151 handicapped students in the school system this year and is spending $1.7 million to educate 172 others in a special day and boarding schools outside the city.
New federal laws require that as far as possible the nation's 4 to 6 million handicapped children be educated in regular classrooms in order to bring them into the "mainstream" of society. This applies to deaf, blind, and retarded children and those with varying degrees of learning of physical disabilities.