Stop Special Needs Vouchers celebrated the removal of the harmful special needs voucher proposal from the Wisconsin state budget proposal… but before the budget was even signed, the Wisconsin Reporter ran a story indicating that the proposal was slated to return in the fall.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, left the door open for expansion of school choice for special needs students, saying the Senate will take a closer look at a controversial initiative that was left out of the Republican budget proposal this fall.
“We didn’t address the special needs question,” Fitzgerald told reporters on Thursday in Mayville. “I think the reason for that is because there’s two different approaches. One is to address it with a scholarship, a voucher. The other is to address it with open enrollment.”
… Disability rights advocates, who opposed the scholarship, are also trying to change open enrollment rules.
“We are looking at ways to make the open enrollment law more usable for kids with special needs,” Monica Murphy, managing attorney for schools and civil rights at Disability Rights Wisconsin’s Milwaukee office, previously told Wisconsin Reporter. “They are covered under it, but there’s a lot of difficulty. It’s not quite as available for kids with special needs as regular kids.”
Parents of special needs students who opposed the scholarship argued that the proposal deserved a public hearing and to go through the legislative process.