The East Valley Tribune recently profiled a beneficiary of Arizona's Scholarship for Pupils with Disabilities school voucher program. Lexie Weck, a five year old with multiple disabilities, is using a state-funded school voucher to attend a private school specializing in helping students with autism.
Lexies mother Andrea Weck said something clicked for Lexie in her new school: She's signing, shell make eye contact now. Shes feeding herself. Shes verbalizing sounds. . .She still isn't speaking, but I know its in there. And they'll find a way to get it out.
Sadly, the American Civil Liberties Union and People for the American Way have filed suit seeking to eliminate the special needs voucher. These groups are once again attempting to overturn a school choice measure with Blaine amendment language. The Arizona Supreme Court explicitly rejected similar arguments in Kotterman v. Killian. The court recognized Blaine amendments as products of 19th century anti-Catholic bigotry, writing, We would be hard pressed to divorce the amendments language from the insidious discriminatory intent that prompted it.
Notwithstanding past bigotry and present day zealotry, students like Lexie deserve the chance to attend the school that best meets their needs.