Scholarships awarded to parents of children with special needs - - Jackson, MS

Scholarships awarded to parents of children with special needs

286 scholarships have been awarded to parents of students with special needs by the Mississippi Department of Education.

Almost $200 thousand will be given as part of The Education Scholarship Accounts (ESA), created through the 2015 Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act.  

According to the State Department of Education it provides an opportunity for parents who wish to withdraw their child with special needs from the public school system to use scholarship money to help defray the cost of private school tuition or other specific allowable activities to educate their child.

This year's total is $198,139.41.

To participate in the program:

  • the applicant must be a Mississippi resident;
  • the student must have had an active Individualized Education Program (IEP) from a public school within the last 18 months; and
  • the parent must sign an agreement to adhere to the rules of participation.

Since July 1, the MDE has received 420 applications. Ten applications were withdrawn, and 124 applications were denied.

The majority of the denials were because students didn’t have official IEPs issued by a school district. Per federal law, only a public school can issue an IEP.

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