Voucher creep in program for students with disabilities | Arkansas Blog

Voucher creep in program for students with disabilities

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State Rep. Mark Lowery has filed a bill to expand the school voucher program known as the Succeed Scholarship.

His changes would allow payments for current private school and home-schooled students. Previously, it was open to students with disabilities who'd been in public schools. They also had to have an individualized education plan. It gives them the money that would otherwise support a public school student to take to a private school. The program has drawn some criticism concerning the level of disability necessary for qualification and the standards of education at schools where the money is taken. Now, students already in private schools, or being schooled at home, could pick up money to continue where they already are.

Lowery's bill adds some language on standards. A qualifying school must have "an alternate education program that is approved by the Department of Education and that is in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act."

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