Facts and insights about Texas public schools
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Transparency Lacking for Students with Disabilities Who Choose Private Schools

A new report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says many of the nation’s voucher programs and private schools don’t give parents of students with disabilities adequate information about the protections they lose when transferring from a public school.

Federal law dictates that students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education, including special education services and certified teachers, all delivered in the “least restrictive environment” possible. They have access to general education classes whenever possible and aren’t disciplined for disruptive behavior that may be related to their disability.

The report says that often parents don’t understand that leaving public schools means leaving those federal protections behind, and many voucher programs and private schools don’t tell them. It recommends that states notify parents or guardians of the change in protections when a student with disabilities is moved from a public school to a private school. Alternatively, Congress could consider stepping in and writing a new notification requirement.

The bottom line is that the rights of students with disabilities should be clear to parents when making such a critical decision.

Read “School Voucher Programs Should Be Clear About Disability Rights, Report Says,” by Cory Turner on the NPR website.

December 13, 2017