Special Needs Scholarships
"Grants may be awarded by a scholarship funding organization in an amount not exceeding ten thousand dollars or seventy-five percent of the cost of tuition, whichever is less, for students with 'exceptional needs' to attend an independent school. An 'exceptional needs' child is defined as a child who has significant cognitive,mental, physical or emotional disabilities and whose parents or legal guardian believe that the services provided by the school district of legal residence do not sufficiently meet the needs of their child."
This is exact language from H. 4894, the school choice legislation that recently passed the SC House of Representatives in a historic victory for parental options. If you didn't read the quote above, it says that school choice would allow special needs students in South Carolina to apply for scholarships covering up to 75% of tuition. This represents an incredible opportunity for families across the state who remain dissatisfied with public school services for students with special learning needs, but simply can't afford the cost of attending a private school that is equipped to help their child.
Is there a need for more options in the special education community?Absolutely, and many parents of children with special learning needs have been incredibly vocal about that need. For years now, state lawmakers in the House and Senate have heard tearful parents describe the experiences of their special needs students in traditional public schools. While undoubtedly some public schools do offer quality instruction for special needs students, it is obvious - based on story after story from parents - that other schools allow many others to slip further and further behind.
H.4894 addresses this problem very decisively through tax credit- funded scholarships. If you doubt that this is an effective way to benefit special needs students, consider that in Florida alone, over 21,000 students with learning disabilities are participating in the McKay Scholarships Program for Students with Disabilities.
State senators have the opportunity to powerfully declare South Carolina's commitment to children who have learning disabilities, and they need to take advantage of it. If you have friends or family members with children who have special learning needs, please urge them to read this post and contact their state senator.
Please take a few minutes to contact your state senator at www.mysclegislator.com . Your voice can have a huge impact on families across this state who are desperate for a way to get their child the education they need.