Parents want small class sizes

StateImpactOhio has an article on voucher expansion in Ohio, and they talked to a few parents of children with special needs using vouchers. But it was why these parents were choosing vouchers that caught our eye.

Corinn starts high school next year, and hopes that a small Catholic school like Villa Angela Saint Joseph on Cleveland’s East side will help her continue her progress.

“I picked the school because it was a smaller class size and they would have the extra help that I would need there,” she explains.
Youngstown Christian is not a big school by any means. There are just 475 students in grades K-12, and Pecchia says parents are drawn to the school’s small size.

Parents want small class sizes for their children, whether they have special needs or not. Vouchers are setting up a vicious economic cycle. Parents want smaller class sizes, so some choose to use vouchers to enroll their children into smaller schools, which subtracts money from the struggling public schools reducing their ability to maintain smaller classes, which in turn causes more parents to seek schools with smaller classes via vouchers.

If that seems unfair, it's not even the beginning as State Impact reports

That’s because public school districts have to write yearly special individual education programs, known as IEP’s, for special needs students even if they attend a private school. And it’s the public school, not the private school the child attends, that has to monitor the progress of the student and update the plan each year.

“My first thought is frustration because it puts some responsibility on the school for kids that they won’t really know,” says Dennis.

The private schools and parents are supposed to communicate regularly with the student’s home district through progress reports.

The public school district still has responsibilities for the student even after they have taken a voucher and left. Private and charter schools like to dubiously boast about how efficient they are, but rarely if ever acknowledge that that is because the public schools are picking up the hard work for them.