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August 2014

Candidate Positions on Special Needs Vouchers Now Available Online

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2014

Madison, WI – The families of Stop Special Needs Vouchers today unveil an online compilation of Wisconsin candidate survey responses, past statements, and voting records on special needs vouchers, online at http://www.stopspecialneedsvouchers.org/candidates/.  After successfully opposing the harmful special needs voucher proposals in recent legislative sessions, parents of students with disabilities are eager to disseminate the candidates’ positions, as the primary election approaches.

Stop Special Needs Vouchers sent the following question to candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, and the state legislature: Do you support the creation of a statewide special needs voucher program in Wisconsin, as proposed in Wisconsin’s past two legislative sessions?  Why, or why not?

“It’s important to know what the candidates have said and done regarding special needs vouchers,” said steering committee member Terri Hart-Ellis of Whitefish Bay, mom to 10-year-old Addie who has Rubenstein-Taybi Syndrome.  “Senator Fitzgerald has announced that special needs vouchers are ‘teed up’ for next year, so these elections could make all the difference in our ability to defend the right of Wisconsin students to a free, appropriate public education.”

“We spoke out against the special needs vouchers last spring, and the legislature listened,” said steering committee member Kelli Simpkins of Madison, mom to 11-year-old Mickey who has epilepsy.  “The last thing Wisconsin needs is unaccountable schools like LifeSkills Academy popping up all over the state to take advantage of our students and our special-education tax dollars.  But now we need to inform ourselves on where the candidates stand, and then speak at the ballot box.”

Stop Special Needs Vouchers thanks the candidates who took the time to respond to our survey and make their positions known.  Early voting for the primary is currently underway, and Election Day is Tuesday August 12.

Stop Special Needs Vouchers Wisconsin 2014-08-04 press release (PDF)

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Parent Quotes

“Until private schools are held to the same standard and protections as public schools, many children with special needs will not receive an appropriate education there.” — Donna from Cambridge, mother to Mary

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