School Choice and Special Ed: Extending Choice and Opportunity to Children With Disabilities

Date and Time
featuring Sen. Larry Craig (R‐​Idaho); Robert Pasternack, Assistant Secretary, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, U.S. Department of Education; Jay Greene, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute; and David Salisbury, Director, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute.

This spring, the 108th Congress prepares to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act. Since its passage in 1975, IDEA has been plagued with problems including an adversarial atmosphere, skyrocketing costs, unequal treatment of affluent and low‐​income children, an excessive focus on bureaucratic processes, and poor academic results. This year, special education experts are engaged in an energetic debate about the causes of and solutions to various problems in special education.

Can school choice for disabled children form part of a policy solution to the problems facing special ed? What kind of school choice would work best? Which problems might be solved through a policy emphasizing choice? How does Florida’s McKay Scholarship Program for disabled children work, and what are its results so far? What are the limitations of school choice as a policy solution?

A wide range of experts including current and former members of Congress, administration officials, child advocates, reformers, and academics will gather to discuss these and other issues.

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