Voucher Program: Positive or Negative for Special Ed?
Are you familiar with the scope and direction of what the voucher program is? A voucher is basically a gift certificate funded by state dollars to send your student to a school of your choice, be it a charter school or a private school. Typically they were reserved for low-income students or students with disabilities. The voucher or scholarship is good for what the state would have paid for the student to attend his or her home district. If the state gives your district $7,000 per year then you would get the $7,000 to use for education at a location of your choice.
That sounds great right?
On paper it does. If you have a student who is out performing his or her classmates and you want to send them somewhere to challenge 'em they could do it. Or in our realm, if you have a student that may not be getting the best social communication classroom and another school offers it, well the voucher seems like it would work. Except..... Research doesn't show that students improve by going to another school. The test scores of students at different schools based on the vouchers are not that different, but parent surveys conducted do show a difference. Not to mention that dollars lost at a district may see cuts in areas such as special ed, the arts, or even sports...
Some small cities and villages don't even offer another choice besides the small town school. The voucher program does not help there. The voucher program is a tricky situation with no great answer on either side. For every positive there is an equal and opposite negative that is just as likely.
As always sound off below, let me know your thoughts, questions, comments, and/or concerns.