Parents of students with disabilities are often left feeling unsure of the best option for their child. The public schools seem to only offer large classes and lack the individual attention required for disabled children. Thus, the benefits of private school vouchers seem to be a life-saver for such students, and their parents. Voucher systems for special needs students have been heavily supported by the current administration and secretary of education. However, these voucher programs have hidden costs which may be harmful for the child and the family.
When disabled students use private school vouchers, they must sign away their federal rights guaranteed under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. While the private schools may be suited to such children, many are not. These children lose their right to free education and their parents are left to pay additional fees ranging from $5,000 to $23,000. The curriculum of the student does not need to be specialized for the student’s needs at the private school. These private schools may be ill-equipped to meet the students’ needs and yet they continue to receive support through the voucher programs. These lost rights are often not understood by parents when they choose to use vouchers and can have serious costs to the education of their child.