Nancy E. Bailey: How Florida Developed Its Voucher Plan for Students with Disabilities

Nancy E. Bailey was there at the beginning, when Florida first embarked on a voucher program for students with disabilities. Now that program is recognized as the Official Camel’s Nose Under the Tent, the entry program that in many other states is followed by vouchers for foster children, vouchers for military children, vouchers for low-income children, then vouchers for everyone. Florida has not been able to build out vouchers because voters turned them down in a 2012 referendum, and the state courts rejected Jeb Bush’s effort to pass a voucher program because it was contrary to the state constitution.

Bailey discovered that the person who pushed the program through was uncredentialed. She expressed great concern for children with disabilities, but she had no experience or training.

She writes:

This is… about eliminating real options parents have with students who have disabilities. Starving public schools where teachers must abide by IDEA mandates, but are incapable of enforcing them due to inadequate funding, is unethical and cruel.

With McKay vouchers, parents flee to schools with no proof of success. How many parents are conned into believing such schools will provide the positive changes their child deserves and that they so desperately seek? Without oversight and rules no one knows—until it’s too late.

Bear in mind that Florida is Betsy DeVos’s model state for charters of every variety, vouchers, tax credits, online schools, and every imaginable way to break down public schools.

from novemoore


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