Facts and insights about Texas public schools
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Vouchers Can Leave Parents on Their Own

Education Week recently documented the experience of Erica Florea and her daughter Jessica. Florea applied for and received $6,000 in tuition vouchers in Florida to allow Jessica, a special education student, to attend a private school.

They were initially happy with their choice, but Jessica became a victim of bullying. Erica complained and accused the staff of the school of ignoring the problem. The school subsequently told Erica that Jessica was no longer welcome and that she’d have to finish the school year from home. Erica’s e-mails requesting that they provide a teacher to help went unanswered.

Their experience is not an isolated incident. When families use vouchers to enroll in private schools, they give up most of the protections federal law requires for special education students. “If a private school decides not to admit a student, or to ask a student to leave, there’s little legal recourse for parents to challenge those decisions,” the article reads.

Florida private schools don’t track some basic measures of success: how many students graduate, nor how many are bullied, expelled, or drop out. Also, there is scant data on how well students who attend private schools perform. In contrast, the state has “unsparing” accountability rules for public schools.

Jessica has returned to a public school, where she is thriving and getting the support she needs to succeed.

Read “‘There Is No Oversight’: Private-School Vouchers Can Leave Parents on Their Own,” by Arianna Prothero in Education Week.

November 21, 2017