Attacks on the McKay Scholarship Program
This summer the Miami New Times attacked the McKay Scholarship Program in a series of articles that presented “half-truths, twisted facts and misinformation” (DOE). This paper is a free, alternative weekly that is not recognized as a credible news source by major Florida newspapers. All the legislators received this paper and many of the newer legislators have become concerned and have discussed adding MORE regulation to participating private schools.
Three major threats have been brought up as possible legislation:
Requiring all children to receive standardized testing identified by DOE;
Requiring all schools to be accredited by accrediting agencies identified by DOE; and
Requiring schools receiving $250,000 in McKay Scholarships to have fiscal audits every year.
The Coalition of McKay Scholarship Schools and stakeholders have opposed these regulations on the grounds that they do not “make programs better” or more accountable and that they deny the private schools the ability to have many diverse programs available for our population of exceptional children.
The McKay Scholarship Program is NOT broken – You must educate your legislators about the McKay Scholarship Program and the amount of accountability which is already a part of the program.
Term Limits – We are losing our champions
The McKay Scholarship Program began in 1999. The legislators who helped to develop the legislation and policies have termed out. These legislators understood the issue: allowing private schools the autonomy to choose their own programs and policies. They understood the need for diverse programs which parents could access. Does your legislator understand these issues today? If we don’t educate them, they will only know what they read in the paper or what the opponents to choice programs say.