Mississippi Legislature Passes Account Based Choice Program for Special Needs Students

March 26, 2015

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

The Mississippi Senate concurred with the House special needs ESA bill today, sending the measure to the Governor, who is a strong supporter. Mississippi thus becomes the nation’s third state with an account based parental choice program. Special congratulations to the bill sponsors and tireless supporters for a successful two-year struggle, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, Empower Mississippi and especially the parents who fought so hard for this legislation. Awesome team effort that paid off in the end.

!!BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!

Also today a special needs voucher  bill passed the Arkansas house 90-0.


Peshek on ESA legislation around the nation

March 11, 2015

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

My colleague Adam Peshek has a post up about the progress of ESA legislation around the country, including the above map. I would like to again thank my friends in the Arizona school district industrial lobbying complex. Without their having made the grave mistake of filing suit against two tiny voucher programs for children with special needs and foster care students, we would not be having this conversation today!

Most of the bills are in fact conversation starters, but one of those (in Virginia) passed one house and failed on a tie vote in the other.

Which state will be the next to turn red on Adam’s map? As an old football coach once told me “it depends on who is the bestus and wants it the mostus.”

Stay tuned to this channel…

UPDATE : The Mississippi House passed a special needs pilot program today 65-51, now heads to the Senate to be reconciled. Oklahoma effort pushed to next year’s session.

UPDATE Part Deux: Rhode Island has an ESA effort underway.


Florida’s Katie Swingle testifies on ESA: “I want the rest of the country to watch this”

March 8, 2015

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

“Mrs. Swingle gave the close on the bill” indeed.


Mississippi Senate Passes ESA

February 11, 2015

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

Congrats to Senator Nancy Collins on passing Senate Bill 2695.

 

 

 

 


Politico on ESAs-“A Radical Idea is Catching Fire Across the Country”

February 6, 2015

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

Two programs with 2,600 or so students in two states doesn’t feel like a wildfire yet, but it is great to see the increase in legislative interest. Our merry band of ESA warriors is having fun!


Tuthill on the Shape of Things to Come in the K-12 debate

November 7, 2014

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

Generals are always fighting the last war, and in this must read piece by Doug Tuthill over at RedefinED, Tuthill makes the case that many of our current K-12 debates are already sliding towards irrelevance in an emerging multi-provider K-12 landscape.


Space-age kid caught in a cave-man system, until now

October 27, 2014

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

The Dayton Beach News Journal has a piece on the new ESA program- Florida’s Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts. We’ve already seen one Arizona ESA parent display a much deeper understanding of the term “accountability” than a number of think-tankers can seem to muster, and this story brings another gem of insight from a participating parent. The News Journal story relates the educational challenges facing a student named Brandon Bremen. Mr. Bremen is working to overcome autism, muscular dystrophy, seizures and an impaired immune system. Brandon had tried everything from public schools, a McKay scholarship voucher to education as a home-bound student with an occasional visit from a teacher. Brandon’s mother Donna sums it up:

Berman stresses she’s not opposed to public schools (she points out her daughter, Bailey, graduated from Atlantic High School in May). She praised the public school staff members’ efforts to help her son, saying she feels they did everything they could within the constraints of state mandates and limited resources. But she felt the schools couldn’t keep up with Brandon.

“It’s unfortunate when you have a space-age child with a caveman system,” Berman said. “His needs out-taxed what the public school is able to give him.”

My reaction to reading this:

LIGHTBULB!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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