COLUMBUS — Ohio students with special needs can now apply for the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program that allows parents to choose the school or providers that best meet their child’s unique learning needs. The deadline for this application window is Nov. 15, 2015.
During the program’s first application window that ran from Feb. 1 through April 15, more than 4,000 students applied for the scholarship, according to the Ohio Department of Education. Eligible students who apply during this second application window will receive a prorated scholarship that begins in January 2016.
“The state budget, signed in June, included a much-needed funding cap increase for the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program,” said School Choice Ohio Outreach Director Cynthia Valencia De Maya. “The scholarship cap was raised from $20,000 to $27,000, which opens the door for many more students to receive the quality education they deserve.”
Any student in the state, including current private school students, with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is eligible to apply. Students can use the scholarship toward one or more of the following:
• Tuition at participating private schools that offer special education services
• Services at approved private therapists and other approved services providers
• Other participating public schools outside the student’s home district
To apply, families can research the participating providers in their area. Next, they can choose the private school and/or provider(s) they wish to use. Families may choose more than one approved provider to fulfill the services listed on their child’s IEP. Finally, parents will apply to the participating school and/or providers of their choice, and ask them to apply for the scholarship on their behalf.
Scholarship amounts are based on the child’s special education category and range from $7,000 to $27,000. The number of available scholarships is capped at five percent of the total number of students with special needs in the state.
For more information about the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program, visit www.scohio.org.