Parents prefer special ed vouchers
In Florida, parents of special education students get a state voucher — a “McKay scholarship” — they can spend at a private school, if they wish. A new Manhattan Institute study finds very high satisfaction with the McKay-funded private school option. (Via Number 2 Pencil). Highlights include:
*92.7% of current McKay participants are satisfied or very satisfied with their McKay schools; only 32.7% were similarly satisfied with their public schools;
*Those participants also saw class size drop dramatically, from an average of 25.1 students per class in public schools to 12.8 students per class in McKay schools;
*Participating students were victimized far less by other students because of their disabilities in McKay schools. In public schools, 46.8% were bothered often and 24.7% were physically assaulted, while in McKay schools 5.3% were bothered often and 6.0% were assaulted;
*McKay schools also outperformed public schools on our measurement of accountability for services provided. Only 30.2% of current participants say they received all services required under federal law from their public school, while 86.0% report their McKay school has provided all the services they promised to provide;
*Behavior problems have also dropped in McKay schools. 40.3% of current participants said their special education children exhibited behavior problems in the public school, but only 18.8% report such behavior in McKay schools.
Parents can supplement the voucher, but more than 70 percent said they paid nothing or less than $1,000 extra.