In April 2011, Tari Raatz of Madison spoke at a press conference at the Capitol about her opposition to vouchers, stemming from her family’s experience of seeking just the right school for her son.
I want to share our experience with private school.
Before our son entered kindergarten we started looking at all of the options and our “choices.” We looked at private schools in and around Madison, and we looked at different school districts in and around Madison before we chose the best option for our son (a wonderful public school).
I met with one of the private schools, and I had given them, in advance, my son’s preschool IEP. When they met with me, there were four or five people who immediately told me they wouldnot be able to meet his needs. I offered that my husband and I would pay out of our pocket for a full time aide and that we would finance all of his needs for occupational therapy, speech/language, and all other needs. The private school said, “No thank you.”
The “choice” does not exist for children with special needs. This voucher program is simply a way of draining public funds into private schools, allowing private schools to cherry pick, and eliminating the rights of IDEA for children with special needs.