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Monday, November 12, 2012

A Federal Special Education Voucher?

In The Rutgers Law Record, Laura C. Hoffman has an article titled "Special Education for a Special Population: Why Federal Special Education Law Must Be Reformed for Autistic Children:"
This article attempts to examine the complicated question of how to provide special education services for children with autism in the wake of astronomically high rates of diagnosis. In  Part I, this article will introduce the federal Special Education Laws affecting children with disabilities through IDEA and how this system of education presently operates. Part II analyzes a 2005 report prepared by the federal government through the GAO examining how effective IDEA has been in providing special education services to autistic children. Part III considers a popular alternative that has been created to provide children with disabilities, especially those with autism, special education outside the public system through state school voucher programs. Part IV examines the creation of a tabled federal voucher program that was previously proposed in the reauthorization of IDEA. I will argue that despite the challenges a federal special education voucher program may create, it is a worthy and necessary policy consideration. On the one hand, it would be a practical effort to bring autistic children out of a failed federal special education system that has been far from beneficial. Additionally, the program would provide greater uniformity for voucher programs that currently exist at the state level but vary significantly in their substance.