Saturday, March 24, 2012

K-12 Scholarships for Private Schooling in Ohio for Disabled Kids, and Vouchers and School Choice for Children Around the Country

The state of Ohio, besides having school choice programs for children within the boundaries of failing publicschools, has two programs for alternative education for special needs kids.  One is the Jon Peterson SpecialNeeds Scholarship program.  Children from kindergarten through 12th grade who have an IEP (individual education plan) that is current and finalized are eligible for scholarships of up to $20,000 for education and supportive services from a private provider.  There aren’t enough scholarships for all disabled children—by law, no more than 5% of children identified as disabled in a district are eligible.  If there are more entries, scholarships will be distributed by a lottery.  If you have a child who’s eligible, you have to move fast, since the deadline for applying for a 2012-2013 scholarship is April 15th.

Likewise, there is a separate Ohio program providing for state aid for the private education of young people with autism between the ages of 3 and 21.   It provides up to $20,000 a year for educational services outside of the school district.  Application for aid for the 2012-2013 school year begins in May of 2012.  Parents who want to be on the Ohio Education Department’s mailing list for more information about state programs for autistic children can sign up for it here.

For state, regional and nationwide programs for state-subsidized alternatives to public education, see this website by the Alliance for Choice.  It shows state “choice” and voucher programs, and has a separate state-by-state rundown on availableK-12 scholarships.  Here's another list of possibilities.

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