House Bill 161 Would Introduce Parent Empowerment Education Savings Account For Students With Disabilities

Exceptional Delaware 2017

Delaware State Rep. Deborah Hudson today introduced House Bill 161 in Delaware, allowing parents of special needs children to use funding from their residential school district to an “educational program of their choosing” according to the bill.  This is a bit different than the school voucher legislation introduced last year around this time.  This is designed for students with disabilities, and the funds would go towards any non-public school or private school within Delaware.  Below is the actual legislation:

All I can say is with the year my son has had, this might be a very welcome law!

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23 responses to “House Bill 161 Would Introduce Parent Empowerment Education Savings Account For Students With Disabilities

  1. kilroysdelaware

    Just another Trojan Horse! How many private school specialized in education special needs children? This legislation is the gateway to full school vouchers!

    Hudson is thicker than thieves with the Cesar Rodney boys and high-pockets Pete.

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  2. Joanne Christian

    BINGO Kilroy! Then they will pit the “funding” vs. tuition, creating another have and have not tier. Just look at “purchase of care” in daycare…….a microcosm of where this will lead in spec ed.

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  3. Someone needs to explain this to me, cause on a personal level, the amount of problems I’ve had with traditional and charter with special education are through the roof. Why shouldn’t my special needs child be given consideration on these kinds of things when the system is broken in public schools?

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    • kilroysdelaware

      Public schools aren’t broken! The means to measure “broken and unbroken” schools is the flawed standardized test! Name me the best private school for special needs children!

      What parents of special needs children need is more people like you advocating for rights of all children and parents.

      Like I said before, traditional public were undermined to ensure they fail to justify charter schools and now charter schools have to share it that failure to justify school vouchers.

      If Debbie Downer Hudson really cared about special needs students why does she support charter specific interest admission preferences that pretty much excludes special needs children?

      Hudson has been handed the ball to lay the foundation ($$ mechanics) for school vouchers using the special needs angle to set the stage for expansion to include others. High-Pockets Pete is money bags for CRI and Cadillac Jim is clueless!

      Kevin as right as I was about RTTT, I am right about this.

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    • Yeah, but when both charter and traditional special education practices or lack thereof do not help my child, what am I as a parent to do? I’m running out of options here in Delaware. When I say the system is broken, I mean special education. It isn’t just broken, it’s shattered. You know what I’m speaking of….

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  4. Joanne Christian

    kevin, unless a child is fully enrolled in off-site placement, the $ involved is attributed to services. if your child isn’t receiving services as prescribed than that’s a bigger problem and ABSOLUTELY needs to be adjusted. but the “tuition” money attributed to a child is not only for the services, but also increased personnel. taking what $ is allocated for your child, beyond unit funding will destroy special education—because a private placement you identify may say, “sure, we’ll take the 21k a year (example only), allocated for your child, but OUR tuition is 35k/year—how would you like to pay for that? all it will do is continue to marginalize those who can afford now an “expensive, private, special education vs. those who say…..but…but…but, the State is giving me 21k to work with…..” remember too, the law is an appropriate “public education” is to be accorded to every…….
    then there is the concern of low level needs intervention of perhaps—say speech only—when critical mass is necessary for scheduling to bring in a speech therapist–is it fair to ship tuition, service money etc., to a private school, because that’s a more “manageable, lower hanging fruit, but top dollar getting…” disability? additionally, there is HUGE federal overlay in funding formulas here of why tax dollars are to be sent to public not private institutions. i know it sounds good in theory…….

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  5. All I know is nobody in public education seems to want to step up for my kid, so really Joanne, what are MY viable choices. Keep sending him to different public schools in my area where I have to fight the IEP battle with them and watch as my son gets physically pummeled and the school can’t or won’t do anything about it except give me a “we will keep him extra safe”. When they should have been doing that to begin with? This isn’t just one school. And guess what, the DOE could not give a crap about my kid. Or any kid with special needs in this state. I watched as a mother gave public testimony to the DOE about her child in Kindergarten with an Autism and ADHD diagnosis and the school would not give the kid an IEP. When the mother filed a complaint, do you know what the DOE’s response was? Let’s get a mediator from the University of Delaware. Really? I realized something today, as DSEA actually backed a Senate Resolution solely designed to be an alternative to parent opt-out and House Bill 50, that they are only it for themselves. No one is in this for the students. No one. Except us opt-out parents. No one gives a damn. So why should I support a system that shuts out my child every chance it gets? I can’t tell you how many meetings I’ve requested with DOE, Markell, the State Board, legislators, and more to get to the heart of my issues. The response: None. So let me ask you again, how has anyone truly helped my son? My son who hasn’t been back in school since December 23rd because after so many physical assaults on him, the last one gave him a severe concussion? If people on here don’t understand why I fight, now they do. And the most ironic part of all of this: even if I wanted my son to take that stupid test, he would have gotten a medical excuse. So let me ask you this: why should I care about the needs of this whole system when NOBODY cares about my son?

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  6. Kevin – if a child in a regular private school (not the pilot school) requires special needs and or considerations they are referred to their public school because the private schools aren’t equipped to handle special needs.

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  7. Public schools may be “required” to administer special education, but they are horrible at it. If they are not in “compliance” they get a slap on the wrist, and if they get sued, they use taxpayer funds to pay it. Name me one school in Delaware that has been shut down over special education issues. There are none. Delaware is widely considered to be piss-poor in these matters.

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    • lastDEconservative

      ((From a longer loving reply to Carrie from last over on “Senator Sokola … “))

      Tell me, Carrie. How is my 7 year old, who (by accepted testing standards, done twice, once in a public, once in a private venue) reads with comprehension at a 5th grade level, writes at 4th grade level (in cursive or not, at will), does math at end of 3d/start of 4th grade level NOT deserving of as much, dare I say more (to demonstrate how you come across) SPECIAL CONSIDERATION, even COMPENSATION as yours? Oh, and he has a target on his physical back, so don’t start. He’s half or maybe 2/3 the stature of his peers, and by grace of good parenting generally laughs off all the BS that comes with that. What are you to do? Wrong question. What are WE to do?

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    • You are absolutely right last (don’t you dare ever quote me on that). Because if you are going to do this for special needs children, then invariably, it should be done for ALL students. Because if the very same folks on here screaming about equity (myself included) don’t support that, then they are hypocrites. I supposed the easy solution is to not support it at all, or support it 100%. The jury is still out on this one.

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    • lastDEconservative

      “So why should I support a system that shuts out my child every chance it gets?”

      I ask this question every day. And get castigated for it. Trust me, the penalty for the stronger is far worse than for the weaker.

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    • lastDEconservative

      The jury is out only to the question of whether or not common sense and right will out or the status quo and its protectors will. No judgement is needed to the validity of the claim, it is as obvious as the nose on your face.

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    • Very simple here: the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Problem is; our education system and apparently you, feel the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the greater majority. Therein lies the problem. The minority or the few, are dictating the actions in spite of the greater majority. The many are being relegated to just suck it up and deal because if they aren’t a special need , they’re just “privileged” and don’t deserve attention.

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    • You just don’t get it, and you never will. So if I understand your thought process correctly, we shouldn’t buy wheelchairs for paralyzed people because everyone can’t get one. Or blind people shouldn’t get seeing eye dogs or canes, because the “privileged” can’t have them. You really have no grasp of what special education is. Your logic is very flawed, and has been for a long time.

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    • “You”= KO

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  8. openaccess

    Delaware Code defines an “exceptional child” to include “gifted and talented” as well and those with a disability. So an “eligible student” according to HB161 would include those who are identified as “gifted and talented.”

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    • lastDEconservative

      ROTFLMAO!!! KILROY! Do you and your pal Debby know (or believe) this? Thanks, open!

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  9. Thinking of vouchers – when i picked up my kids from school today my daughter was talking about 2 kids in her class who both transferred in a little before Thanksgiving from a public school. she was saying both kids will either have to be held back or transfer out to another school (most likely) because they finished the year with at F’s in ELA, Math and social studies and D’s in just about everything else. She felt bad for them but they couldnt muster the curricular because their knowledge base was behind and they couldnt catch up even with a lot of help from the teachers. SOOOOO, had they come to the school on vouchers and at the end of the year they were asked to either repeat the grade or transfer out would that be a potential lawsuit for the school?

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    • lastDEconservative

      Good question. But not a reason to press on. When did you get the Rolls out of the shop? I thought the missus was picking up the kids this week.

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    • lastDEconservative

      Argh. Not a reason to NOT press on. Sorry.

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  10. Interesting. Wonder which state. Because my kid transferred from a private school in middle school to public school in Delaware, and we were on the hook for 8 weeks of math and science tutors. Yup, all the private school money we saved sure is coming in handy now for his tuition at Hopkins. I would be highly suspect of any private school taking a public school transfer late in the year. Check their books.

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