Lottery announced for scholarships for students with disabilities

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The Mississippi Department of Education is holding a lottery on July 14 to award 58 Education Scholarship Accounts for the upcoming school year.

The Education Scholarship Accounts provide funds to parents of students with disabilities who want to remove their child from a public school and seek educational services elsewhere. Recipients of the scholarship are eligible to be reimbursed up to $6,494 in costs next year.

The Legislature passed the Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act in 2015. This school year, the law allows for up to 435 ESA accounts.

According to the Mississippi Department of Education, 377 ESAs had been awarded to students returning from the last school year as of June 30, leaving a remainder of 58 available scholarships and 257 applications on the waiting list for this year. The law requires a lottery to be held to award remaining ESAs when the demand exceeds the supply.

To qualify for an ESA, the applicant must be a Mississippi resident; the student must have had an active Individualized Education Program (IEP) within the last five years; and the parent must sign an agreement to adhere to the rules of participation.

For more information on the scholarships, click here.