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  • Madeline Ryan Smith

The Truth About School Vouchers

Updated: 3 hours ago

As a disabled candidate running for office in Georgia, I am deeply concerned about the imminent threat posed by bills like SB 233, which aim to expand private school voucher programs under the guise of "school choice."

Let's break it down: voucher programs don't really offer a fair choice or opportunity for disabled students. Instead, they open the door for private schools to discriminate against them without facing any consequences. These schools aren't held to the same standards as public schools. They don't have to follow Federal laws like the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or make accommodations for students with disabilities.

When we support voucher programs, we're ignoring the fact that disabled students lose out on getting an education that's accessible to them. These programs take away crucial protections like 504 plans and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), leaving disabled students exposed and lacking the support they need. Additionally, the money that's supposed to go to public schools ends up getting redirected to fund voucher programs. This makes the already existing problem of underfunded public schools even worse. Instead of investing in our public education system and providing the resources that students need, we're diverting funds away. This hurts all students, no matter their abilities or backgrounds.

Now is the time to take action. We need to speak up, inform our communities, and hold our lawmakers accountable. Every child, regardless of their abilities, deserves access to a quality education that meets their individual needs. It's up to us to ensure that this fundamental right is protected for everyone. We must fight to safeguard disability rights in education by supporting candidates who prioritize the well-being of students and reject efforts to defund public education. Our state's and country's economy relies on a well-educated workforce, and that starts with properly funding our schools and ensuring equal opportunities for all students.


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