I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
It continues to amaze me how some people think that “choice” is enough of a reason to support the Special Needs Voucher. I participated in a conversation on Facebook and I have had a couple of subsequent conversations since outside of Facebook. I will always respect those that believe “choice” is enough of a reason. But in my mind, “choice” is the only thing that the special needs voucher has going for it.
The special need’s voucher has more negatives then the one positive of “choice”.
Vouchers may not cover the entire cost to send a student to that voucher school. The family would be obligated to pay the difference.
Voucher schools do not have to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This could mean that some individuals with physical disabilities may not even be able to get into the voucher school.
Voucher schools do not need to follow the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); a very important piece of civil rights legislation for students with disabilities.
Voucher schools do not have to implement, follow or update an Individualized Education Programs (IEP) once a goal has been achieved. Something protected under IDEA.
Voucher schools do not have to accept every child with a disability.
Voucher schools do not have to have certified special education teachers.
Voucher schools do not have to offer any therapies, not speech, not physical, not occupational. Each of these therapies contributes to a student’s success in the future.
Voucher schools do not have to allow a student to remain in school until their 21st birthday to continue preparation for transition to adult life.
Voucher schools do not have to ensure that there is a transition plan in place for a student’s life after high school; this includes registering with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR).
Voucher schools do not have to keep students in age appropriate classes.
Voucher schools do not have offer a formal way to resolve disputes, something protected under IDEA.
Voucher schools do not need to ensure transportation to the school.
If voucher schools fail to meet the student’s outcomes and the student returns to the neighborhood school, there is no mechanism to return the public funding to the neighborhood school, meaning that the public school needs to educate the student with no additional funding.
This is just 13 reasons why I do not believe in the special needs voucher. These are all things that our public schools do for students with disabilities. These are things that the Cudahy School District has to offer. We have had very good success with the Cudahy schools so far. I realize that not every family is as fortunate as we have been, both here in Cudahy and across the State, but these are just to many things to give up to support the special needs voucher.
It appears that there is some interest on the Federal level supporting special needs vouchers. We knew the fight would not end, I guess I thought that I would have a bit more of a break
I think that you should ask yourself: Is it worth giving up these 12 protections for the sake of “choice”?