A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court says the federal special education law authorizes public school districts to reimburse families for private school tuition even if the student never received special education services from the school system.
Many special education advocates cheered the ruling saying it shows schools can’t ignore their responsibilities to students and families. They said many school districts make decisions to save money instead of acting in the best interest of students and their families.
But groups representing schools boards said the ruling may discourage collaboration between public schools and families.
They said the ruling could take more away from school districts and that many families may think they could automatically seek tuition reimbursement without first trying to get services from the public school system.
Georgia already provides vouchers for students with disabilities to attend private schools.
The voucher is worth whatever the local public school would have received to teach the child, meaning it may not cover the entire tuition at a private school.
Also, Georgia requires students to attend a public school for at least one year to be eligible for the voucher. The Supreme Court decision says families may be eligible for tuition reimbursement even if the child never received special education services from a public school.
Do you think public schools should have to pay for special education students to attend private schools? If so, under what conditions?