Search This Blog

Monday, January 28, 2019

Questions About Choice Programs

COPAA Executive Director Denise Marshall at The Hill:
Last November, the National Council on Disability (NCD) published the School Choice Series (Vouchers and Charter Schools); both were officially submitted to the White House. To date, Secretary DeVos has failed to mention any of the documented findings, especially those critical to explaining the extreme variance and lack of availability of the same type; or in some cases, any choice for students with disabilities as compared to other school-age students.

For example, the NCD voucher report found that the same concerns presented in 2003 (by NCD in a prior report) continue to be critical problems in 2018. Specifically, the report highlights:

NCD found that while some families experience that private schools are able to meet the needs of children with disabilities better than public schools, parents and families using vouchers can lose access to IDEA rights; accountability can suffer; and vouchers might only cover a portion of private school cost, leaving a majority of families unable to access any choice at all.
These NCD findings are consistent with other reports for example in 2016: Private School Choice Programs Are Growing and Can Complicate Providing Certain Federally Funded Services to Eligible Students, and School Vouchers and Students with Disabilities: Examining Impact in the Name of Choice; in 2017, Private School Choice: Federal Actions Needed to Ensure Parents Are Notified About Changes in Rights for Students with Disabilities; and 2018 5 Policy Ideas to Improve Private School Voucher Programs.