Another Blow to School Voucher Schemes

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A variety of studies in recent years have revealed that private school voucher schemes don’t live up to their promises of giving families better options and improving public schools through competition. Now a new study reveals that private schools most available to the low-income families that vouchers are supposed to help tend not to offer academic benefits over public schools.

The report, Private Schooling in the U.S.: Expenditures, Supply, and Policy Implications, comes from an extensive examination of 1,500 private schools nationally. It was jointly published by the Education and the Public Interest Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Education Policy Research Unit at Arizona State University.

In short, the report reveals that the cost and quality of private schools is strongly associated with the religious affiliation of the schools. Non-Catholic Christian schools tend to cost the least, but those schools also tend to pay teachers the least, have teachers with the weakest academic records, have higher student-to-teacher ratios, and have the lowest student test scores. According to the study, Catholic schools tend to approximate public schools in those categories.

More expensive private schools — many of them Hebrew and independent (generally not religiously affiliated) day schools — typically spend more on education resources, but often their tuition costs aren’t even close to covered by vouchers (which typically are worth about the cost of educating a student in public schools). As a result, many of those better-performing private schools remain out of the reach of even low-income families with vouchers.

So what does this mean? Vouchers often take money from neighborhood schools to pay tuition at nonpublic schools that typically don’t do a better job educating their students. Worse, as the Texas Freedom Network has repeatedly pointed out, those voucher schools don’t have to meet the same standards as public schools and are unaccountable to taxpayers. Such a deal, right?

Click here for a press release about the study.

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39 Responses to “Another Blow to School Voucher Schemes”

  1. Charles Says:

    I prefer the French pronunciation (vooshay). I am going to paint with a broad brush here—and all of the dangers that go with it. School vooshays, and assorted other ideas and schemes, are not really about quality education for minorities. They are about trying to destroy American public schools and replace them with Christian Neo-Fundamentalist parochial schools so our young people will be forced to attend their schools—simply because there would be no other schools left to attend.

    We have a really strong public school system here in my community, and a really good Catholic school as well. Their plans and schemes will never even get a foothold here. They will likely take Greer, South Carolina, by storm because that area is sold out to the evil in a wide variety of ways already—and besides—South Carolina does not like anything about the rest of the United States. They have been struggling to be their own separate nation ever since 1861. I say let them have it and let all of the kooks out there collect in one place.

  2. TFN say WHAT? Says:

    Why is it that every bit of proganda TFN wishes to push regarding vouchers always comes in twos, as in “voucher scheme.” This rhetoric is so old, so tired, so 2007. There is no scheme to force all children to go to religious schools or destroy public schools, as the Total Freaking Nutcases would have their devotees believe.

    “Worse, as the Texas Freedom Network has repeatedly pointed out, those voucher schools don’t have to meet the same standards as public schools and are unaccountable to taxpayers. Such a deal, right?”

    Here’s the deal we taxpayers get here in in Texas, that TFN has been repeatedly made aware of but continues to ignore because it blows their entire argument againt vouchers.

    The following is taken from a current Texas federal case in which the district FILED SUIT on a three year old child with autism in order to escape their obligation to provide the services this child required:

    “A school district’s duty to design and implement a program for a student with a disability does not require an ISD to implement the best possible program; nor does it require an ISD to maximize that student’s educational potential. An ISD need not guarantee that a special education student makes any educational progress whatsoever. The only guarantee that an ISD must make is that it has designed and implemented a program that provides a basic floor of opportunity.”

    If you don’t like the floor, they show you the door. How’s that for accountability? Such a deal, right?

  3. trog69 Says:

    Charles, I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps the reasoned, less dogmatic ( I’d like to think I’m one.) are the ones who should look for an area in which to secede? I’m starting to feel like Glenn Beck was right, and they do surround us. yikes.

  4. trog69 Says:

    Why is it that every bit of proganda TFN wishes to push regarding vouchers always comes in twos, as in “voucher scheme.”

    Why is it that you cannot argue the actual study?

  5. TFN say WHAT? Says:

    Did I miss the study on the scheme?

  6. Charles Says:

    Vooshays are doomed. Southern Baptists pulling all of their kids out of public schools is doomed. Destruction of the public schools is doomed. Doomed I tell you. Doomed!!!

    Anyone else here have a sense of humor?

    P.S. Paul Pressler, Paige Patterson, and their revolution are doomed as well. Whenever those two die of natural causes, the whole pendulum will begin swinging back to Christ’s love and some sanity in the church.

  7. TFN say WHAT? Says:

    What is this bizarre and misplaced attack on Southern Baptists and references to “Christ’s love”? While it is knee-slapping hilarious, it kind of seems like Charles is the religious zealot, well, you know, if atheism is considered a religion.

    What does this study tell us about religion, Christianity and it’s relation to vouchers? NOTHING! The study says NON-religious and Hebrew private schools are the most expensive to run, most expensive to attend, and SURPRISE – get the best results. The cheapest private schools get the poorest results. Catholic schools fall somewhere in the middle and purportedly gain results similar to public schools. BREAKING NEWS: Report reveals you get what you pay for.

    What I’d really like to know is, how are Texas public schools accountable in any way, based on the information I included in my previous post? Why is it that all the TFN’ers drinking the TFN Kool Aid can’t argue this issue, and instead always fall back on the “voucher scheme” conspiracy theories and religious doomsday rhetoric?

  8. Cytocop Says:

    TFN say WHAT: I haven’t posted one word about this topic as I don’t feel informed enough to do so. So, why do you say “all the TFN’ers….” when, in fact, only three “TFN’s” have posted comments?

  9. jdg Says:

    TFN say WHAT? Says:
    August 20, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    “What does this study tell us about religion, Christianity and it’s relation to vouchers? NOTHING! The study says NON-religious and Hebrew private schools are the most expensive to run, most expensive to attend, and SURPRISE – get the best results. The cheapest private schools get the poorest results. Catholic schools fall somewhere in the middle and purportedly gain results similar to public schools. BREAKING NEWS: Report reveals you get what you pay for”

    Here is a source so you can educate yourself
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/19/opinion/19wed2.html

  10. jdg Says:

    # TFN say WHAT? Says:
    August 20, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    “What I’d really like to know is, how are Texas public schools accountable in any way, based on the information I included in my previous post?”

    —- It’s called the TAKS test.

    ” Why is it that all the TFN’ers drinking the TFN Kool Aid can’t argue this issue, and instead always fall back on the “voucher scheme” conspiracy theories and religious doomsday rhetoric?”
    —– Vouchers are illegal, they steal money from the taxpayer.
    1) Just let the teachers teach
    2) Keep parents out of the teachers’ gradebook
    3) End social promotion at the elementary school level
    and you will see the change.

  11. Charles Says:

    Because it’s fun?

  12. trog69 Says:

    “What does this study tell us about religion, Christianity and it’s relation to vouchers? NOTHING!”

    From the study: Christian Association Schools have the lowest spending, the lowest salaries, teachers with the weakest academic records, and the highest pupil-to-teacher ratios. Moreover, earlier research concludes that these schools have the lowest student test scores.

    “say WHAT” seems to be an alumni.

  13. trog69 Says:

    Oops; S/B alumnus/alumna.

  14. Ben Says:

    Hey Charles, let me be the first one to inform you that you’re an atheist. I bet you’re surprised.

  15. Charles Says:

    Hi Ben. I think some people who are new here just assume that the world is entirely black and white (i.e., everyone at Free Market Foundation is a Christian and everyone at TFN is an atheist). Yes-No. On-Off.

    I perhaps should not have taken that swipe at the Southern Baptists, but the conservative takeover of the SBC in 1979 was a major boost for all of this far right craziness that we see everywhere. Paul Pressler and Paige Patterson led that takeover, and today I personally consider the SBC to be a political organization more so than a church, especially given the activities of Richard Land. When I read articles like the one at the following URL, in a day and time when so many people are suffering from the bad economy, I just have to pause and ask the question, “Where is Jesus in this organization?”

    http://74.6.239.67/search/cache?ei=UTF-8&p=wade+burleson&fr=yfp-t-152&u=kerussocharis.blogspot.com/2009/01/trouble-at-southwestern-theological.html&w=wade+burleson&d=fy_z-RlMTNct&icp=1&.intl=us

    Their recent decision to start a widespread program of new Baptist school “planting” in every conference district in the country is just one more plan to wipe out our public schools. A couple of years ago, some of their high-level members with a major poltical-educational ax to grind actually put forward a motion at a convention meeting that called on all Southern Baptists (everywhere) to remove their children from all public schools, which would devastate public schools here in the south if they were ever to actually do it. Fortunately, the resolution did not pass. I think one of the problems was that someone realized that there are not enough private Christian schools to absorb them. Therefore, this planting of new Southern Baptist schools had to take place first to create a system of schools to attend. If and when they are all built, I would not be at all surprised to see a call for another Exodus—one that will be voted for and followed.

  16. Stuart Says:

    I just wondering… I really don’t have an opinion one way or another. I’m just thinking out loud here.

    IF (notice it is a big if) there were vouchers. Could one possible outcome be that… since there is a new source of funding for private schools that a new type of private school is created.

    A school that some of our brightest hardest working teachers choose to start in their community. Because of the teachers’ dedication, the students desire to be at an institution that values education over extracurriculars might we have a school that offers a great education a the same cost a public one. Then the standards are raised for all, public and private schools.

    Could it not be possible that instead of the current educational options that we have some new ones… and the older ones change.

    I don’t see how we can have a debate about vouchers without factoring in what the changes both positive and negative voucher would have on education.

  17. TFN Says:

    Stuart,
    We think that’s a good and valid question. But we already have a system that provides the opportunity for what you suggest: charter schools. Charter schools get public funding but aren’t held to the same regulations as traditional public schools. Charter school proponents argued that such schools would do a better job educating students at less cost to taxpayers by providing innovative instructional approaches. It hasn’t quite worked out that way overall so far, but there have been some successes. Perhaps with further reforms, the charter school system will do better. In the meantime, siphoning money from public schools to private and religious schools is a bad option. Many of the promises made by voucher proponents have failed to come true in other states where private school voucher schemes are in place. You can learn more about TFN’s position on vouchers here.

  18. Marsha C. Says:

    The voucher argument is moot. The Texas Constitution forbids public money to be spent on any school except a “free public school.” So y’all go ahead and knock yourselves out with all your wishful thinking. Vouchers are not going to happen.

  19. TFN say WHAT? Says:

    Thank you Stuart for daring to think outside the TFN box.

    To trog69 – I’m the not-so-proud product of public school and the child of a public school teacher. Sorry to disappoint, but well played, comrade!

    To jdg – TAKS doesn’t begin until third grade, after a child with a disability has been eligible for public services for six or seven years. SEVEN YEARS! Do you have any idea what those formative years represent in terms of the life outcome of a child with a severe educational disability?

    In response to Cytocop: TFN’s tired and inflammatory rhetoric on all voucher programs as “voucher schemes” that aim to “siphon money from public schools” is well-known. Those who subscribe to those tactics and way of thinking (which all TFN devotees NECESSARILY must) are the TFN’ers to which I refer, not just those responding to this thread. Note “TFN says” response. It is impossible for them to debate this topic without resorting to such inflammatory and invalid rhetoric.

    The “siphons” currently existing within the public school system are many. Need I remind TFN et al. of the rampant Texas public school misspending in recent years? Dallas ISD ring a bell? How about the now more than $61 MILLION per year going to ISD attorneys who profit off the back of disabled students seeking their federal right to an appropriate education in a least restrictive environment (apparently the state has other ideas), and the HUGE tax-funded self-inflating business this has become for this lowest form of human life, replete with huge legal training boondoggles for school personnel often held in Austin truly.

    http://www.keepeanesinformed.com/private_lawfirms.htm

    Here is another link to information regarding more expenditures to private attorneys who “train” public education staff – again, funded by our tax dollars. Remember, this is one example and there are many more:

    http://www.keepeanesinformed.com/whoa_neli.htm

    I would urge others who have been “drinking the TFN Kool Aid” (don’t you just LOVE that?) to come to the table with an open mind as Stuart has, and read the below article, and I challenge them to still insist vouchers have no redeeming role, use or need in public education toda. Atheist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. – to each his own. TFN claims to be comprised of them all. I would hope “heartless” is not the more fitting umbrella term.

    http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2009/0819_autism_ohanlon.aspx

    Peace.

  20. TFN say WHAT? Says:

    Marsha C. – Are you unaware of the Pre-K bill that was overwhelmingly supported by the House Democrats this session? It called for contracting with “community providers” including private RELIGIOUS schools. You might want to inform them of this rigid “set in stone” Texas Constitution that would make such a concept “moot.”

  21. trog69 Says:

    To TFN say WHAT?: Thanks for the link to providing data on the $ spent on attorneys representing the ISDs. Some interesting bits there on the firms being retained, as well. I’d be interested in seeing the juxtaposition with other states, too. I didn’t see too much there that explained what necessitated the more egregious expenditures. Regardless, $60million+ is a mind-boggling amount of money not being used to help educate special needs students, much less the general inmate, I-I mean student population.

    “…and I challenge them to still insist vouchers have no redeeming role, use or need in public education toda.”

    And right there is where I call BS. You obviously did not read TFNs position statement which pointed out what this study, amonst many, show; that voucher supporters have a long way to go before they can truthfully assert private school’s superiority over the public schools.

  22. trog69 Says:

    TFN say WAAAA?!, are you pointing out that Dems are becoming just as likely to try pushing religious indoctrination as the Republicans? Old news, ol’ bean; TFN, amongst many defenders of unbiased education and church/state separation have been saying this for a few years now; It sucks, no matter what comes after the ideologues name.

  23. TFN say WHAT? Says:

    Oh, and the ultimate irony? Gov. Perry vetoed it.

  24. TFN say WHAT? Says:

    To Charles-

    I apologize if I mistook what appeared to be your outward hostility for Christianity as atheism. I agree the SBC and its takeover is every bit as egregious, I just fail to see the relevance to the broader issue at hand. So then you are not an atheist?

    Anyhoo, my objection is to aligning the voucher issue with an attempted takeover by right wing religious “wing nuts” as they are so often referred. While this certainly may be ONE representation of voucher supporters, it is certainly not the only one, probably not even the primary one, and I vehemently disagree with public funding going to education for the purposes of religious instruction. If parents want a religious education for their child, they are free to pay for it themselves.

    My support of vouchers is limited to cases where children cannot receive an appropriate education from their local public schools – and particularly in cases where schools sue children with disabilities with the very tax dollars those children’s families are forced to pay into the system that marginalizes them and refuses to provide equal opportunities (offering them only a ” basic floor of opportunity”) via arguments such as I previously posted.

  25. TFN say WHAT? Says:

    trog69 wrote: “And right there is where I call BS. You obviously did not read TFNs position statement which pointed out what this study, amonst many, show; that voucher supporters have a long way to go before they can truthfully assert private school’s superiority over the public schools.”

    I have no idea the position statement to which you refer as it appears nowhere in the article above, but I did see TFN’s commmentary replete with same tired rhetoric and defending an unaccountable system while placing a monopoly on the money ahead of the needs of children. My question for you is, did YOU read the lack of accountability our TX pub schools have to students with disabilities and what they are arguing in court? Did YOU read the article about the uphill battles family face in getting necessary services for their children with autism? I know you read about the millions being pumped into law firms to fight them.

    And that’s all you can come back with, is to call “BS” on the need for these families to have every possible option available to educate their child? Have you read one single study from the states referenced in the article that are having overwhemingly positive results and parent satisfaction rates from making such options more accessible to these families?

    The reality is, the die-hard TFN’ers are so entrenched in their anti-voucher position that nothing will ever stand up to their litmus test for vouchers. It’s motto may as well be “Our minds are made up, don’t confuse us with the facts.”

    Props to Marsha for telling it like it is. Responses like yours reveal it truly is a moot point.

  26. Marsha C. Says:

    To TFN say What?: If there’s an educational need which isn’t being met by the local public school, then fix the public school so that it meets the need. “Farming out” kids is an inappropriate use of taxpayer funds.

    And thanks for the follow-up on the Pre-K bill. I didn’t have the bill number to look it up, so I couldn’t determine if I’d e-mailed or called to oppose it, which I did on many bills this spring.

    Are you saying that atheism is a religion? I’m sure that’s news to atheists, who have NO belief in any supreme being of any type. They don’t worship anything. For atheism to be a religion, there’d have to be some worshiping going on. Have you ever seen anything like a First Atheist Church? Do you think it’d have a baptismal? Probably not, but maybe it’d have a dunk tank! That’d be fun!

    Re: Baptists taking their children out of public schools
    Bye-bye, now, bye-bye! That leaves more tax money to spread to fewer students. Sounds like an excellent idea to me. And those kids won’t be infesting the public school science classes with their ridiculous religious dogma –i.e. creationism/ intelligent design. So, at the risk of repeating myself, Bye-bye, now, bye-bye! And don’t let the door hit you in the butt on your way out.

  27. trog69 Says:

    “…and I challenge them to still insist vouchers have no redeeming role, use or need in public education toda.”

    I’m techo-illiterate, so here’s what I hope is the link to their position on vouchers: http://www.tfn.org/site/PageServer?pagename=vouchers

    Don’t be embarrassed, TFN say WHAT?; Apologizing for making baseless assertions is still regarded as a virtue here in Realityville.

  28. trog69 Says:

    Now it’s my turn to apologize; It seems I read a completely different TFN’s stance on vouchers, one where they had remarked that vouchers may or may not have some positive qualities. The one I linked to, above, isn’t that one, so…durr on my part.

  29. TFN say WHAT? Says:

    Marsha wrote: “Bye-bye, now, bye-bye! That leaves more tax money to spread to fewer students. Sounds like an excellent idea to me. And those kids won’t be infesting the public school…so, at the risk of repeating myself, Bye-bye, now, bye-bye! And don’t let the door hit you in the butt on your way out.”

    Did you know this is exactly how many in public school feel about students with special needs, administrators and teachers included? Putting them out to pasture (or on the farm, if you prefer) is exactly the desire. Wanna know how they do it? Deny the child any semblance of appropriate services in an appropriate setting, set them up to fail, allow them to be bullied, physically attacked, restrained, isolated, call CPS on their families, call the police on their advocates, drag them to truancy court for attending therapy appointments for services they refuse to provide, and if all else fails, file a lawsuit on them under IDEA.

    Did you know they can do that? Did you know that they are? How many African-Americans are sued by ISD’s these days? Or the vile and evil Baptists?

    I’d just love it when someone says “fix the system” while in the meantime kids are drowning, potentials are being thrown away and that time can never be recovered. Spoken like a true compassionate soul. Why don’t you fix the system while you fight against options for these kids? That makes a helluva lot more sense. And pouring more money into it to go to law firms ain’t gonna cut it. What is your quick fix? Remember, there are futures on the line. Services these children receive now (or don’t)will determine whether they can live independently or end up housed in one of the horrific 11 state “schools” (more institutions than any other state and more residents than NY state and CA combined.)

  30. trog69 Says:

    Did you know this is exactly how many in public school feel about students with special needs, administrators and teachers included?

    It’s obvious that no matter the topic, TFN say WHAT? will turn it around to talk about the only subject it want’s to talk about.

    Must…break…free…of…hook……….trying……..errrrrrrr,

    There. TATA!

  31. Touchdown! Raises! Legal Strategies! Says:

    Let me tell you about the present voucher scheme. Well, first of all, I pay property taxes to a “wealthy” school district that has a penchant for artificial turf and all things athletic. Sound familiar? What a voucher scheme! A real dream come true for gifted athletes and their parents. Here’s the next part. I use my retirement funds to pay for private school for my child for whom the welcome mat receded (quite dramatically) in this so-called exemplary district … just as soon as the administrators of this district learned of his special needs. After several miserable years in that public school, I did what any good parents will do, I removed my child from harm. The private school was a quick fix and therefore a great value! Five years later, I continue to pay taxes to fund the GIANT pay raises for the public school administrator’s raises (50% in the last five years! What a voucher scheme!) and the never-ending “improvements” to the sports facilities including an $800,000 HD Video to film football games (Quite the voucher scheme!) and hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to private attorneys who are retained by the public school district to make sure kids with special needs (of any sort) are forced out of the school door (oh, how they love this voucher scheme and what’s not to love about THAT gravy train? … unless of course you are the kid under the wheels …) while at the same time funding a safe and appropriate education for my child. Quite the voucher scheme, don’t you think?

  32. TFN say WHAT? Says:

    trog69 – Took you long enough to catch on, lol.

    You are right, parents of kids with special needs who have received the treatment I have described will be a broken record until this kind of abuse and discrimination stops. If you don’t like to hear about, then please help change it instead of just closing your ears and trying to break free from “the hook”, and certainly do not fight educational options for these kids until these practices are curbed forever. Sadly, this a reality and not a political scheme or rhetoric. Makes it uncomfortable for the TFN’ers and their no exceptions anti-voucher position, I know. Better for them that parents just shut up about it.

    I would be thrilled to see TFN’s position on vouchers softening to reflect this reality. If you can find this link you referenced, please do pass along.

  33. TFN Says:

    TFN’s opposition to private school vouchers has been shared by major organizations that advocate for people with autism and other disabilities. The challenges created by vouchers for students with special needs are many, including (but not limited to):

    – Such vouchers wouldn’t come close to covering the cost of providing care for children with autism. As a result, only families with additional resources (and located in areas where private providers of special education services were available) would benefit.

    – Draining money from special education budgets would leave public schools with fewer resources for helping their students with special needs who remained. Public schools need more funding for educating students with special needs, not less.

    – Lack of accountability is a major problem, and private schools strongly resist any state regulations. In one large state, private schools accepting vouchers for students with special needs weren’t even required to have teachers certified in special education.

    – Voucher supporters in other states have pushed through programs focused on students with special needs but then expanded the programs almost immediately to include other students.

    TFN has joined with organizations that advocate for children with autism and other students with special needs to support the following legislation:

    – Legislation establishing in law a grant program to assist school districts in covering the excess costs required to educate some students with disabilities who have significant needs.

    – Legislation establishing a State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) Autism Spectrum Disorders specialist certificate for public school teachers.

    – Legislation creating a statewide Autism Spectrum Disorders resource program.

    – Legislation requiring health benefit plan coverage for children ages 3-5 with autism or Autism Spectrum Disorders.

    – Legislation requiring TEA to update and maintain a parent-friendly guide to the special education process, replacing an outdated guide lacking updates in federal laws and regulations.

    – Legislation providing a wage increase for education support staff in public schools, including paraprofessionals who are crucial in providing consistent and effective supports and accommodations to students in special education programs to ensure the student is progressing in the state curriculum.

    – Legislation requiring regular education teachers to receive staff development on research-based instruction for students with disabilities.

    – Legislation requiring TEA to develop professional development institutes for public school teachers and paraprofessionals regarding education of students with disabilities.

    – Legislation requiring that the students Admission Review and Dismissal (ARD) Committee consider and discuss the qualifications and experience of personnel working with special education students. Parents and teachers would have the opportunity to express their opinions and request the ARD committee consider the need for teacher and paraprofessional training.

    – Legislation allowing a student receiving special education services to participate in a graduation ceremony after the fourth year of high school, thus allowing students who have worked hard to participate in the graduation ceremony with their peers and continue to receive appropriate instruction based on their individualized education program (IEP).

    – Legislation requiring, on the request of a regular education teacher who has a child with disabilities in his or her class, training on research-based practices to meet the academic and behavioral needs of the student and as necessary timely assistance from appropriately trained personnel to ensure the student’s needs are met in the classroom.

    – Legislation requiring the establishment of an Internet Web site to provide resources for teachers who teach students with special health needs.

  34. TFN say WHAT? Says:

    We are well aware that our advocacy agencies have thrown familes under the bus due to partisan ideologies that have no business interfering with their charge to advocate for the disabled above any “system.”

    Which one of the above will stop special ed students from being marginalized, denied services, pushed out by the practices I described and will ensure the implementation of IDEA in its spirit and intent and the high standards it sets?

    This is the standard duck and cover defense – “We oppose vouchers because we are fixing the system.” These “fixes” are nothing but a big smokescreen.

  35. TFN Says:

    In our experience, the folks working at these advocacy agencies are some of the most dedicated souls around. They work long hours and wear through a lot of shoe leather lobbying on behalf of children and others with special needs. Many of their grassroots volunteers are family members of people with disabilities. We have met many of them and are awed by their love, their courage and their dedication. They certainly don’t deserve to be accused of having “thrown families under the bus due to partisan ideologies.”

  36. trog69 Says:

    Took you long enough to catch on, lol.

    Yeah, I guess I’m kinda naive like that; I assume that a commenter is being honest, until they prove otherwise, as we see here.

  37. TFN say WHAT? Says:

    trog69: Who is being dishonest?

    TFN: We, too, know of dedicated individuals at advocacy agencies, but that does not mean that certain members and/or management do not let politics and partisan views shape their policy. [Edited. We haven’t fact-checked specific claims made here about certain disability advocacy groups and choose to remove them from this comment. – TFN]

    They are not federally funded to “pick a side”, they are federally funded to advocate for improved services. The side has been chosen for them. A large part of those funds are also desingated to teach those family members of people with disabilities to advocate for themselves.

    So why is it then, when those families have worked their tails off to develop bills in the spirit of self-advocacy, because God knows no one else is coming up with the effective solutions and systemic reform that will help their family member TODAY, that they find themselves dealing with those very advocacy organizations testifying against those families in the legislative hearings to defeat those efforts? They certainly don’t deserve to be thrown under the bus that way. It’s not an accusation. It’s a fact. Check the archives.

    There was a bill last session, SB 2204, which was a crisis intervention plan for those most likely to end up in institutions, and it called for a comprehensive action plan that would integrate community resources and training into our public schools for the betterment of all, yet it was still referred to as a “voucher scheme” and opposed by the teachers unions and TFN. Even the advocacy agenices were on board for this one, but TFN worked again against the needs of those families.

  38. TFN Says:

    We have explained our opposition to vouchers and our support for legislation that would help all students with disabilities. We have nothing to add to that.

  39. TFN say WHAT? Says:

    I don’t suppose you would. Just wish you could explain how the legislation you support helps “ALL” students with disabilties, like those who are getting sued with our tax dollars and forced into private placements.

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