The legislative session is over and none of the bills concerning The McKay Scholarship were passed. The Coalition of McKay Scholarship Schools has been in the forefront leading with the charge “The McKay Scholarship Program is successful and the laws and rules in place are working to hold schools and parents accountable. No new regulations are needed.”
As we alerted you in the fall, bills calling for teacher credentialing, accreditations, mandated standardized testing were just a few of the regulations that legislators were proposing. These never became bills due to strenuous efforts on the part of Coalition board members, members and schools in educating the legislators as to what regulations currently exist and how the McKay Scholarship Program requires maximum flexibility to develop programs and curriculums for our diverse group of children with disabilities.
Three bills were filed but none made it through the committees to a floor vote. (See sidebar for bills.)
Many of the legislators that we spoke to this year did not have the information concerning all of the accountability measures that are already in the law. They were working on information given to them by anti-choice individuals disguised as proponents of the program. Once they were presented with the factual information and educated concerning the existing laws and regulations, they understood more fully how “accountable” this program is to the state. They also understood the need for private schools to maintain autonomy in curriculum, teacher credentialing, testing, and other issues.
One of our legislative supporters said, “Knowledge is Power. You must give us (legislators) the information to counter those against or who would weaken choice programs.”