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Date Posted: 05:39:21 08/11/08 Mon
Author: Larry
Subject: I now exercise a right I reserved last year

I told you so.

As you may recall, we had some discussion about vouchers while Georgia’s SPED “scholarship” bill made its way to law. Some of us opined that the legislation’s sponsors couldn’t care less about kids with special needs and were simply using a group above criticism to advance their political goal – specifically, to create vouchers for all public school students.

Well, some folks now have a reality pill to swallow. Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson (this would be the guy that sponsored the SPED scholarship bill and promoted it into law) is now pushing for universal vouchers for all public school students.

Curiously, the AJC isn’t supporting his recent move:

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/stories/2008/08/10/vouched_0810.html

While their editorial makes some good points, they neglected what I have always considered the fatal flaw with vouchers. Regardless of what some may have inferred, I have no problem with schools adjusting policy or spending (within limits of reality) to accommodate kids with special needs. My objection was to creating a special class of taxpayers who get to personally spend public funds with no oversight. Obviously, this was a battle I lost.

We have to live in the real world. Now that the special class of taxpayers exists, the only reasonable thing to do is make it as equitable as possible. Expanding the group to all parents of children from age 3 to 21 is far more inclusive than the select group we have currently. For this reason, I will not publicly oppose Richardson’s plan.

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