Today, the Georgia Senate passed legislation to allow more students with special needs to participate in the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program.
Senate Bill 386, sponsored by Senator Renee Unterman, would allow three additional groups of students with special needs to attend a participating private school through the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program. The three groups are students:
- With 504 accommodation plans;
- Who attended a public special needs preschool program; or
- Who were adopted from foster care.
Currently, only students who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) can participate. Other states, like Florida, ensure all students with special needs can participate in scholarship programs like these. The bill would also improve program transparency and responsiveness to families.
“All Georgia children, especially those with unique abilities, deserve a school that best fits their learning styles and needs.
“We would like to thank Senator Unterman, Chairman P.K. Martin, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan and our partners at GeorgiaCAN, the Georgia Center for Opportunity and the American Federation for Children for their leadership and commitment to ensuring all students with special needs can attend a school where they will learn and thrive.”
Ryan Mahoney, Senior Legislative Director, ExcelinEd in Action
The legislation now moves to the House. For more information on the transformative power of educational opportunity, visit the ExcelinEd policy library.