Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The voucher slime never stops

Take a look at this bill, that the WisGOP voucher crowd is trying to sneak through with a rushed public hearing tomorrow.
If a child who has been determined to be ineligible under subd. 1. continues to attend the private school he or she attended under a scholarship awarded under par. (a), for each school year the child attends the private school beginning with the school year following the determination under subd. 1 (which indicates the child no longer has a disability that must be attended to) ., the department [of Public Instruction] shall pay, from the appropriation under s. 20.255 (2) (az), to the private school, on behalf of the child's parent or guardian, an amount equal to the appropriate per pupil amount paid to a private school participating in a parental choice program under s. 118.60 or 119.23 in that school year. The department shall make scholarship payments under this paragraph in accordance with the payment schedule specified in s. 119.23 (4) (c).
In other words, even if the child is found to not need Special Education services, that kid still gets to attend the voucher school, and the voucher school continues to receive a state taxpayer subsidy. The only difference is that the amount is equal to all other non-special ed voucher students, but it’s paid out of the special needs voucher account- in other paying for students that this program is not intended to pay for. Nice sneaky way of hiding the true costs of the voucher program, isn’t it? No wonder the Scott Jensen voucher lobbyist group AFC supports it.

Oh, and here’s a nice reduction of reporting that the voucher schools will get that public schools won’t- the lack of a requirement to tell the local school board about how a child with special needs is doing.
Within 5 days of receiving a request from the resident school board of a child with a disability attending the private school under this section, provide all records relating to the implementation of the child's individualized education program or services plan by the private school, as required under subd. 1., including an evaluation of the child's progress, to the school board of the school district in which the child resides in the form and manner prescribed by the department.
Notice the strike-out part. Not a bad way to cut costs and operate on a different level than the public schools, isn’t it?

These puppets of the voucher lobby never stop in their quest to play by different rules and defund Wisconsin's previously-great public schools. Which is why we must never stop watching, and reporting any of these back-door attempts to expand the program and allow it to play by different rules than public schools.

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