ERIC Number: ED477215
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Mar-6
Reference Count: N/A
Jeopardizing a Legacy: A Closer Look at IDEA and Florida's Disability Voucher Program. Special Report.
People for the American Way, Washington, DC.; Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Washington, DC.
This report examines the outcomes of the John M. McKay Scholarships Program, a statewide voucher program for students with disabilities in Florida that provides students with taxpayer-funded vouchers to be used at private schools or at other public schools. It argues that the McKay voucher program, which started in 1999, is rife with accountability problems, financial mismanagement, under-qualified teachers, and inadequate educational and support services. The report provides background information on the McKay voucher program, explores McKay's costs and financial impact on public schools, and discusses the minimal guidelines private schools are expected to meet while participating in the McKay program. The following major points are made: (1) a voucher proposal jeopardizes the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act's (IDEA) legacy of success; (2) the push for IDEA vouchers may be fueled by the desire to cut services to children; (3) the program is wrongly being cited as a model for reform; (4) the program sacrifices critical rights of parents and children; (5) the program is not accountable to parents and taxpayers; (6) McKay vouchers have drained precious funds from public schools; and (7) the "choice" touted by McKay supporters is significantly limited in several ways. (Contains 168 references.) (CR)
Descriptors: Accountability, Disabilities, Educational Vouchers, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Legislation, Federal Programs, Federal State Relationship, Preschool Education, Private Schools, Regular and Special Education Relationship, School Choice, Special Education, State Programs, State Standards
People For the American Way, 2000 M St., NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-326-7329 (Toll Free); Tel: 202-467-4999; Web site: firstname.lastname@example.org. For full text: http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=9063.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: People for the American Way, Washington, DC.; Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Florida
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act