Study Probes Special Ed. Students' Voucher Access
Enrollment hurdles prove hard to nail down
One of the most common charges leveled at private-school-voucher programs is that they are unwilling or unable to serve a substantial number of students facing serious academic challenges—including those with disabilities—leaving their public school counterparts to devote more money and resources to working with those populations.
But gauging the truth behind those claims is not easy, as evidenced by a debate over new research focused on that question.
Public and private schools have very different legal obligations, and overall philosophies, when it comes to working with students who have physical and learning disabilities and in how they identify and collect data on those students. In many cases, private schools choose not to gather that information from families—or they don't gather it using standards comparable to those of public schools. In some cases, parents of special-needs students in private schools may be reluctant to provide the information, because of worries that it...
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