Monday, March 5, 2012 at 3:13 AM by Tamarine Cornelius
Special Needs Voucher Legislation among Four Disability Bills on Tuesday Assembly Calendar
The Assembly is scheduled to vote on Tuesday on four important bills relating to people with disabilities. Among them is AB 110, which is intended to allow parents of students with disabilities to use vouchers to attend private schools. Like other voucher bills, it takes money out of public schools, exacerbating their fiscal challenges by leaving less money for the vast majority of students with disabilities who remain in public schools.
Advocates for people with disabilities are opposing AB 110 because of the effect on public and the private schools “are not required to have special education or related service staff available and do not have to develop new IEPs [Individualized Education Program] each year. If the Assembly passes AB 110, it could harm parents and students with disabilities.”
As WCCF wrote about AB 110 last spring when it was scheduled for a public hearing:
“…the bill provides no accountability or requirement that should a private school be chosen by the family, that school actually provide special education services to meet the special needs of the student as identified in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Contrary to what a parent might expect, the result is that families choosing to make use of these vouchers will be giving up their child’s rights guaranteed under the IDEA.”
Disability advocates are supporting three other bills on the Assembly’s Tuesday calendar, including AB 477 which would lift the current cap on enrollment in Family Care, IRIS and similar community-based care programs for people who need long-term care.
You can read more about AB 110 and the other three bills in an alert from the Disability Advocates Wisconsin Network (DAWN).