McKay Scholarships expand choices for students

May 1, 2017 by

By Patricia Levesqu –

Like most parents, Clare Murray grew up in a world where the local public school was the only choice. But when her son had issues that required more specialized attention, one educational option was not enough.

Murray and tens of thousands of other Florida families take advantage of the state’s McKay Scholarship Program, which allows parents to use the state funding allocated to their child to find the best educational fit for that child.

“As products of public school educations ourselves, my husband and I had always planned to send our son to public schools,” said Murray. “It would have been a disservice to him, however, to not take advantage of the McKay Scholarship. There is simply no way our son … would have been able to receive the same level of education and individualized attention in a public middle school in our area.”

Jay Marcus, another parent of a McKay Scholarship child, faced a similar situation.

“It is simply a fact that the Florida public school system was not equipped to provide my daughter the attention and focus that she required based on her learning disabilities. Although her teachers were wonderful, the teaching methods available to them were not conducive to my daughter’s learning needs,” Marcus said.

Stories like these are common throughout Florida and the country. But attacks on school choice instead focus on contrived “public vs. private” disputes that do not reflect the real-world personal decisions of parents searching for the right schooling environment for their child.

The recent New York Times article, “Special Ed School Vouchers May Come With Hidden Costs,” claims that parents who have chosen a different path for their child with a McKay Scholarship are being stripped of the rights afforded to them in a public school via the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. or IDEA.

Source: Column: McKay Scholarships expand choices for students | Tampa Bay Times

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