One of the model laws promoted by ALEC creates vouchers for students with disabilities.
ALEC is the far-right group that brings together big corporations and very conservative state legislators to figure out strategies to advance privatization and protect corporate interests. ALEC does not like public education, does not like regulation, does not like unions, and does not like teacher professionalism. It likes vouchers, charters, online learning, all as unregulated as possible, and teachers who can enter the classroom with little or no certification or training.
ALEC pushes vouchers for students with disabilities as a way of establishing the legitimacy of vouchers, using the most vulnerable children as the poster children for their favorite anti-regulation, anti-government ideas. Once vouchers get a start in one sector, they reason, it is easy to make a case for vouchers for all. As states are slowly discovering, the more charters and vouchers schools there are, the more difficult it is to supervise what happens in them or where the money goes.
Florida has a voucher program for students with disabilities. It is a sham. Florida journalist called it “a cottage industry of fraud and chaos.” Gus Garcia-Roberts won the Sigma Delta Chi award for public service journalism–one of the highest honors of the profession– for this series about the abuse and neglect of students with disabilities who receive vouchers in Florida.