The Ohio Senate’s budget proposal released today includes language that creates a special education scholarship program. A special needs voucher program has been discussed in the Statehouse for many years, and now with this action by the Senate, we are one step closer to making this a reality for Ohio families who have children with special needs.
The creation of a special education scholarship program would empower families of children with special needs to find the best learning environment for their child’s unique educational needs. These families would finally be able to access the same educational opportunities that students with autism have for the past eight years.
Scholarship amounts would be based on the student’s disability and associated educational needs. A portion of the money that would have been used to fund the child’s public education will follow the child to the private school. It is estimated that approximately 260,000 students with special needs would be eligible to receive a scholarship. The special needs scholarship program would allow up to five percent of the students with special needs, approximately 13,000 students statewide, to access the private educational providers of their choice.
Stay tuned as the Senate’s final budget will be determined next week.