Thursday, January 20, 2011

Special Ed kids to private schools? It already happens

Here's something Cathy Burden, Kirby Lehman, Jarod Mendenhall, and the other rogue superintendents don't like to mention: Lots of special-needs kids already attend private schools at taxpayer expense. As my compatriot Matt Ladner explains:
Nationwide, 2 percent of children with disabilities attend private schools at school district expense. Generally speaking, they were the kids with parents who had the ability to hire fancy attorneys who specialize in federal disability law. Sometimes these kids have successfully sued the district to get to a private school, sometimes a consensual agreement is reached for a private placement. Sometimes it is consensual, and other times it is "consensual" in the sense that districts are pretty good at figuring out when they would lose a lawsuit and cut their losses.

In any case, [a special-needs scholarship] gives parents who don’t have fancy lawyers power -- the power to leave. [Special-needs scholarship] children stopped being a largely captive audience and became more like a client -- a client you can lose if you fail to satisfy them.

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