Support Parental Choice in Education!
The Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate are currently debating an important education reform bill to give parents with special needs children more control of their childs education.
Special Needs Scholarship programs have proven to be very successful in increasing positive outcomes for special needs students in other states. In fact, similar programs are in place in seven states with several others, including Wisconsin, moving to enact a special needs scholarship program to increase quality, improve access, and achieve greater accountability in our educational system for special needs students and their families.
1. Ensure greater parental choice in our public and private schools. Parents not government bureaucrats should decide where their child with special needs goes to school. To remove the legal and financial barriers that often discourage these parents from moving their child to another school, this legislation will create a Special Needs Scholarship Program which will allow special needs students to attend the public or private school that best meets their needs.
2. Increase quality and improve access in our education system. Wisconsin should join the seven other states that allow parents to choose where their child with special needs is best educated. In Florida where a similar program has been in place since 1999, 92% of parents participating in the program said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their childs current school. Other common benefits in these programs include smaller class sizes, a reduction in harassment, and fewer behavior problems.
3. Achieve greater accountability. Amendments were added to the bill to increase accountability by requiring participating schools to implement a comprehensive services plan for the child. Any changes made to the plan would require the approval of the parent as well as the school.
AFP-Wisconsin fully supports Assembly Bill 110 and we hope you will ask your lawmaker to do so as well.