2017 Research Update: Special Education Voucher Brief

April 12, 2017 |

The Dangers of Special Education Vouchers

Texas public schools serve more than 460,000 students with disabilities—a group representing nearly nine percent of the state’s total student population. Public schools are required to admit and serve students of all abilities and unique needs and are held accountable both through public reporting of state assessments and compliance with relevant state and federal laws. Additionally, parents or guardians of students with disabilities have methods of legal recourse if public schools are not adequately serving their children.

There exists a national political effort to promote traditional vouchers, Education Savings Account (ESA) vouchers, and tax credit scholarship vouchers in the name of assisting students with disabilities. While promoted as a solution for families dissatisfied with services in the public school system, in reality, special education vouchers are employed as a political gateway to universal vouchers.

While students with disabilities and their families can experience challenges in a public setting, voucher programs often feature similar problems, but lack the legal protections, transparency, and quality controls available to students in the public system. Raise Your Hand Texas produced a policy brief detailing why vouchers for students with special needs represent a dangerous proposition that can lead to a loss of rights and quality educational opportunities.

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Education Savings accounts and tax credit scholarships are the same ol’ voucher, also known as government subsidies for private schools with no transparency, accountability, or proven results.


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