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SB 386 - Expands State-Funded Private School Scholarships for Students with Learning Disabilities - Georgia Key Vote

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Title: Expands State-Funded Private School Scholarships for Students with Learning Disabilities

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Title: Expands State-Funded Private School Scholarships for Students with Learning Disabilities

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to expand state-funded private school scholarships for students with learning disabilities.

Highlights:

 

  • Requires the resident school system to provide written notice of the schooling options available under Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 at the initial Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting or at the time the student is determined eligible for accommodations, and annually thereafter, including but not limited to (Sec. 1):

    • Attending another public school within the resident school system which has available space and a program with the services agreed to in the student’s existing IEP or Section 504 Plan;

    • Attending a public school outside of the student’s resident school system which has available space and a program with the services agreed to in the student’s existing IEP or Section 504 Plan;

    • Attending one of the state schools for the deaf and blind operated by the State Board of Education, if appropriate for the student’s needs; or

    • Requesting a scholarship for the student to enroll in and attend a participating private school.

  • Specifies that a student qualifies for a scholarship if they meet criteria including but not limited to (Sec. 2):

    • The student’s parent has been a Georgia resident for at least 1 year;

    • The student has spent the prior school year in attendance at a Georgia public school or received preschool special education or related services;

    • The student has an IEP, a formal diagnosis from a licensed physician or psychologist, or a Section 504 Plan relating to one or more conditions identified by the State Board of Education;

    • The parent obtains acceptance for admission of the student to a participating school; and 

    • The parent submits an application for a scholarship to the department no later than the deadline established by the department.

  • Specifies that the one-year residency and schooling requirements shall not apply if the student’s parent is an active duty military service member stationed in Georgia within the previous year, if the student has been adopted or placed in a permanent guardianship from foster care within the previous year, or if the student previously qualified for a scholarship (Sec. 2).

  • Specifies that the acceptance of a scholarship has the same effect as a parental refusal to consent to services pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Sec. 2).

  • Requires the maximum scholarship amount for a scholarship student with an IEP to be equivalent to the costs of the educational program that would have been provided for the student in the resident school system and based upon services specified in the IEP in place at the time of the most recent enrollment count (Sec. 3).

  • Requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules to administer the program regarding student eligibility, transparency, and awareness of the impact of the program including but not limited to (Sec. 4):

    • Conducting an annual survey of participating parents’ satisfaction with the program and private school, and their likelihood of recommending the program;

    • Making the basic unit cost for general instructional programs, as a minimum estimate for scholarship amounts, public on the department website;

    • Providing parents of scholarship students the actual scholarship amounts;

    • Authorizing parents of scholarship students who believe their student’s program weights have been incorrectly reported by the local school system to make a request to the department to review the accuracy of reported program weights within 30 days of receiving the actual scholarship amount;

    • Reporting information on the scholarship student retention rate, among other information, for each participating private school.

  • Specifies that the bill takes effect July 1, 2020 (Sec. 5).

  • Repeals all laws and parts of laws in conflict with the provisions of this bill (Sec. 6).

Title: Expands State-Funded Private School Scholarships for Students with Learning Disabilities

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