14 questions (and few answers) about SB 276

Today I read a great article from Hudson ISD Superintendent Mary Whiteker about Senate Bill 276 published in the Lufkin Daily News.

(Click here to jump right to the article)

In the piece, Whiteker lists fourteen questions for backers of #sb276 to consider.  I have attempted to answer each one based on my own reading of the bill:

■ Will private schools retain the right to charge tuition above the value of the voucher? (Yes)

■ Will private schools that receive state aid ( vouchers or taxpayer grants) be eligible to request additional funds to provide the necessary services required for the very special high-needs students? (?)

■ Will a private school that receives state aid (vouchers or taxpayer grants) be required to meet the same regulations as public schools? (maybe, but no law passed after 1-1-2015 will apply link)

■ Will a private school that receives state aid (vouchers or taxpayer grants) be required to administer the state-mandated curriculum and student assessments? (not addressed in SB 276, but in HB 1043, any norm referenced test can substitute for STAAR)

■ Will private schools and home schools that receive state aid or taxpayer grants be allowed to teach common core curriculum? (?)

■ Will a private school be subjected to the same accountability standards as public schools? (?)

■ Will a private school retain the right of student refusal based on disability, academic achievement, religious beliefs or discipline? (?)

■ Will a private school, receiving students that are eligible for free and reduced meals, be required to offer meals under this federal program? (?)

■ Will vouchers (taxpayer savings grants) limit the religious instruction (Christian and non-Christian) offered in private schools? (?)

■ Will the state assume the responsibility of managing and monitoring families that receive vouchers or taxpayer grants to home school their children? (?)

■ Will the state offer vouchers/taxpayer savings grants for all students currently enrolled in private schools or home schooled? (After year 1 they would not be eligible according to Sec 42.501 as worded in bill link)

■ Will voucher funds (taxpayer savings grants) be allocated by average daily attendance, requiring private schools/home schoolers to report daily attendance with required hours of instruction to receive the funds for that day of instruction? (?)

■ Will the private school/home schooler have to reimburse the state if the student(s) withdraw from the private school during the year and wish to re-enroll in the public school. (?)

■ Will private schools be required to participate in the PEIMS reporting system? (?)


Consider connecting with me on Twitter (@troymooney) and mention #sb276 if you have any answers to these questions.