Any student that meets the eligibility requirement can apply to receive a voucher and a choice school must admit the student if they have a declared seat available. If there are more applications than seats, a blind lottery must be done.

There is zero empirical evidence that choice schools remove certain students after funding counts. The highest contributing factor to enrollment shifts is parents moving and socioeconomic factors.

“It’s true that students leave the voucher schools after third Friday, but they also leave us after third Friday,” said Patricia Gill, director of family and student services for MPS. “We lose about as many students as we gain in terms of to-and-from the voucher schools.”

State law prevents private schools in the parental choice program from discriminating against students with special needs. A four-year investigation by the Department of Justice found no discrimination against students with special needs in the choice program.

The recent creation of the Special Needs Scholarship Program now allows students with an identified IEP, access to more funding and services in the school of their choice.