Private Schools Respond to Public Money

church and stateThis Orlando Sentinel article turns data into description.  How Florida’s tax credit scholarships and McKay vouchers for students with disabilities impacts private schools is the topic.

Some private schools operate solely on public money.  Others combine public scholarships and tuition.  Some do not take public money.

The rules for private schools are different.  Public accountability is limited.  Teachers do not need certification.  Academic achievement is mixed.  The Sentinel story has been excerpted below.  It is a side of the story worth telling.  What we do not know is if it is money well spent.

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Confused about Voucher Lawsuits?

frog-48234_1280Florida has 3 voucher lawsuits:  Fasse et al vs. Scott et al, McCall et al vs. Scott et al, and Citizens for Strong Schools.  They all oppose Florida Tax Credit Scholarships (FTC)  to private schools.  Faase et al was just thrown out yesterday.  The other two remain in court.  The Florida League of Women Voters is a plaintiff in McCall vs. Scott.

The money is significant; it now amounts to over $900 million in FTC scholarships.  Which companies provide the money? Want to know more?

 

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One of Two Florida Voucher Lawsuits Thrown Out

One of the two Florida voucher lawsuits was thrown out today by Judge Charles Francis.  Faase et al vs. Scott et al was dismissed once before and then refiled.  The new version was deemed to be legally insufficient to sustain a finding of ‘special injury’.  This complaint was based on SB850 which was alleged to have been passed by the legislature using ‘log rolling’ strategies to combine bills to expand the tax credit scholarships and create new accounts for students with disabilities.  Click the LAWSUITS banner on the Home Page of this blog for more information.

Alternative assessments for Students with Disabilities Abolished

In June, 2014 the U.S.DOE increased reporting requirements for students with disabilities programs.  Both program procedures such as meeting evaluation timelines and student outcome data are now required for federal funding. The U.S.DOE estimates that only 18 states and territories will meet the new standards; 41 states and territories met previous standards. California, Texas and Delaware are in the lowest compliance level.

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A change in assessment policy can have a big impact. Title I Part A regulations have been amended.  Alternative ESEA standards and assessments that are based on disabilities with be phased out. Data such as graduation and suspension rates as well as state assessment scores will be used for Individuals with Disability Act (IDEA) grants.

The acting Assistant Secretary of Special Education stated that less than 10% of 8th graders with IEPs were proficient in reading.  In his announcement of the new requirements, Secretary Arne Duncan said “We must be honest about student performance, so that we can give all students the support and services they need to succeed”.  Federal programs provide $11.5 billion in grants to states that in 2010 served 6,614,000 children.

Alternative Assessments for Students with Disabilities Abolished

In June, 2014 the U.S.DOE increased reporting requirements for students with disabilities programs.  Both program procedures, such as meeting evaluation timelines as well as student outcome data are now required for federal funding. The U.S.DOE estimates that only 18 states and territories will meet the new standards; 41 states and territories met previous standards. California, Texas and Delaware are in the lowest compliance level.

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There is more to this to this story.   Read on.

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