In Liz Lynch’s Blog, she addresses the article “Special Choices” from Education Next. The article focuses on the differences between private and public schools with respect to students with disabiltites. It is well known that there is a much higher percentage of students with disabilities in public schools than private schools. However, the article dives deeper into why this is the case and what the options are in each setting.
First, Liz brings up some interesting points in her response to the “Special Choices” article. She addresses the idea that not many parents are aware that vouchers are available for their students with disabilities to cover the cost of sending them to private schools. Such vouchers are not commonly heard of because of the minimal enrollment of students with disabilities in private schools and are therefore not taken advantage of. Furthermore, if the students start off in the private school, it is less likely that they will be identified as in need of special education services and therefore will not be able to obtain the voucher as well. Private schools do not get federal funding for identification services and often do not recognize students with disabilities because it leads to stigmatization, according to the article.
In addition, Liz illustrates another very important point about which setting is more beneficial for students with disabilities. The whole article focuses on the fact that parents do have a choice to send their children to private or public schools but that most are not aware of this choice. They ultimately have to choose what setting is most beneficial to the education of their children, voucher or not.
Therefore, the points Liz brought up strongly emphasize the message of the article and her views. In my opinion, it is crucial that parents be aware of such vouchers, so they can make the best decision possible for their students. While public schools may have more resources for students with special needs, private schools may contain more support because of the lower numbers of enrollment. Each child contains a unique situation as she said and parents have to choose what is best for their individual family. The video depicted below shows a meeting in which parents learn about a tax credit that can be offered to students with disabilities to cover the cost of sending them to private school, like the voucher system. It shows parents reactions and how many agree that this will allow more children to get the help that they actually need.
Moreover, it was said in the article that because children with special needs are rarely identified in private schools that they may not be getting the necessary support. Such vouchers and tax credits change this notion. Overall, I think that the article along with Liz made some excellent points. While there is still much to be done in the realm of special education in private schools, that is not to say that it would not work nor be a productive learning environment for some students with special needs. Every child is different; some learn better in a general education classroom while some need more intense instruction outside of that classroom. Similarly, one student may excel in a public school while another may have more success in a private school. The culminating factor among these ideas is that it all depends on the choices you make, and that parents need to be informed about their options to make strong decisions.