Parents of special education students who are dissatisfied with their child's progress would have the ability to move their child to another school within the student's school district, an "eligible" school in an adjacent district "that has space," or a private school. If the latter option is chosen, the parents would receive a "scholarship" in the amount of the lesser of (a) the cost of educating the student in the home district, or (b) the tuition at the private school.
This set-up seems geared to move these students to private schools. There are several unanswered questions, however.
First, we have the effect of the scholarship. The "scholarship" has a cost that is almost guaranteed to be equal to the previously incurred cost; with state-funded scholarships the private schools will have every incentive to raise their tuition to at least the level of the public schools' cost, as the tuition would be funded 100 cents on the dollar by the state. There is absolutely no incentive for the school to reduce its tuition, especially as its financial success depends on maximizing its income and having the highest tuition price post it can bear and remain competitive in the marketplace.
As examples, consider what happens if a private school is charging $10,000 (and I'm just using round numbers -- these are not actual figures) for tuition for a given period. Assume the local public school cost is higher -- an unlikely event -- and we'll use a figure of $12,001. The student would be eligible for a $10,000 scholarship under the task force proposal. If the school raises its tuition to $12,000, the scholarship goes up to $12,000 because it's still less than the public school cost. This means the private school can raise its tuition and have the state -- that is, all you taxpayers -- fund that raise, dollar for dollar. And if the private school tuition were higher (say, $15,000) than the $12,000 public school cost, the private school would have most of its tuition covered by the $12,001 scholarship. That private school would have no incentive to drop its tuition when 80% of it will be paid by the state. It is simple rational behavior; one receiving a subsidy will act to increase that subsidy whenever possible.
The second question is the source of funds of the scholarship. (The report conspicuously avoids any mention of this. Hmmmm.) One wonders if state aid to schools will be cut every time a special education student decides to leave a district. Theoretically, that money would go to the scholarship. However, as schools have a good chunk of their budgets represented by fixed costs, any aid reduction -- from whatever source -- threatens to diminish services to special education students even more.