Parents of children with disabilities learn to dread the day the bus stops coming.

Beginning at age 22, when people with disabilities “age out” of public school — literally dismissed on their birthdays — the school buses don’t pick them up anymore. That can begin a lonely life for many of the 20% of adults with some form of disability.

The challenges are great, and in recent years they’ve gotten worse. Illinois ranks 47th among the 50 states in providing services to adults with disabilities, according to one major tally. Illinois has operated under a court-monitored consent decree since 2011.

The decree recognizes that Illinois has not invested adequately in caring for disabled people and aims to strengthen the state’s public services so more people with disabilities can live and work full lives, within the general community where possible. But the state routinely misses targets set in the decree and has no viable plan to catch up.

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David Greising

David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative...