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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Are McKay scholarships good for children with special needs?



Last year's Miami New Times stories about abuses in the McKay scholarship program sparked criticism about the overall program, which helps families find schools that serve their children with special needs.

University of Arkansas education reform professor and blogger Jay P. Greene, one of the nation's more ardent Florida ed watchers, suggests that the naysayers miss the boat. In a new post, he points to what happens in states like Alabama that don't have such options available.

"If Alabama had a special ed voucher program, like McKay, Mrs. Salinas would not have had to secretly record misconduct, prove it to school officials, and then organize a protest to ensure that those teachers were not still in the school with her son.  She could have just followed her good mother’s perception that things were going very badly and switched her child to another school with the same amount of public funding."

Greene offers that there's plenty more evidence of the positive value of the McKay scholarship program, which a few other states have attempted to replicate in some form, although much smaller. He then blasts the critics for relying on "mindless tweets" rather than proof.

Agree with Greene? Is this a school choice program that works? Or not?

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 4:05pm]


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