In theory, this isn’t supposed to happen in publicly-funded voucher programs. Two students receiving "scholarships" from the District of Columbia’s program* have been told they are not welcome to return to the private school they attended this year. The school says their staff is not equipped to handle the children’s "behavioral and academic problems".
In addition, there are fifteen other students in the voucher program who have been expelled this year or asked not to return to their schools in the fall. The reasons for these students being tossed out are not mentioned but the two kids profiled in the story seem to be guilty of the kind of minor infractions that would get them sent home for a couple of days in most public schools, not expelled.
This story has several interesting characters on both sides but the behavior of the mother of the two students is especially predictable. She objected when the school disciplined her kids during the year but also expected the staff to provide special help for their problems. She’s also talking about getting a lawyer, of course.
But she can be forgiven her entitlement attitude. She’s bought into the claims of voucher advocates who are completely convinced that just moving kids from public to private schools is going to magically solve all their problems. It’s not that easy.
As this situation shows, many private schools are not equipped (or willing) to work with students who have difficult instructional and emotional problems. However, unlike public schools, they are allowed to reject students they consider too hard to work with (although I didn’t think voucher programs allowed that).
And speaking of voucher fans, I’m still waiting for them to deliver proof that vouchers will improve public schools as so many of them claim. Still waiting…
* funded by the District’s big nanny (aka Congress)