A Wisconsin lawmaker has introduced a budget amendment that would prevent the Justice Department from going on witch hunts involving private school vouchers and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act specifies public schools must make necessary physical and academic adjustments to accommodate special-needs students, but doesn't impose the same requirements on private schools. Nevertheless, says Matt Frendewey of the American Federation for Children, the DOJ tried to find violations in Wisconsin private schools accepting vouchers.
"[They found] nothing ... not a single shred of evidence of discrimination," he reports. "And they closed their investigation quietly, late at night on a Friday, hoping nobody would notice."
The Federation's national communications director says U.S. Senator Ron Johnson's amendment was a response to this harassing investigation.
"Senator Johnson's amendment ... tells the Department of Justice Focus on what you're supposed to be doing: criminal investigations, protecting the country," Frendewey describes, "but stop trying to intimidate and threaten private schools that are providing kids with good educations."
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports private schools in the voucher program cannot deny students with disabilities. But at the same time, those schools don't receive federal funds for special education services.