41 Days of School Choice: Day 24 – North Carolina School Choice Program Goes the Extra Mile for Children with Disabilities
Raleigh, N.C. (September 5, 2014)– The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, and its state partner, Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC), highlight North Carolina’s extraordinary Children with Disabilities Scholarship Grants Program as a part of its #41Days of School Choice initiative.
Enacted in 2013, the program provides financial assistance to families of special needs students to go towards educational expenses accrued during the 2014-15 school year. This program replaces the 2011 Tax Credit for Children with Disabilities program that was based on a family’s state income tax liability. Now tax liability is not a qualifying component, making the program more accessible to low-income families. The Grant program, which reimburses parents at the end of each semester, helps families with students in K-12 pay for private school tuition costs and other education related expenses such as specialized therapy and tutoring.
“The Children with Disabilities Scholarship Grants eliminate financial barriers that previously existed for many North Carolina families,” said PEFNC Vice President Karen Duquette. “It is vital that our state ensures that families whose children need these critical services can access them regardless of their income.”
Tracey, a mother from Greensboro, is one parent who is thankful for the program and the help it provides for her son, Brayden, who suffers from dyslexia.
“For us, a Children with Disabilities Scholarship is a must,” she said. “We really need it. We can’t put Brayden in the specialized school he needs without it.”
“We are grateful for the strong local support of our state partners at PEFNC, who have fought diligently and supported programs that make such a difference in the state including the Children with Disabilities Scholarship Grants Program,” said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel for American Federation for Children. “This program empowers parents to make educational decisions for their children and ensures that every child’s education is truly tailored to their individualized needs.”
- Students must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Determination of Eligibility (DEC3) issued by a public school district and receive special education or related services daily
- To be eligible, students must also have attended a North Carolina public school during the previous semester, received special education services as a preschooler during the previous semester, received a grant under this program during the previous semester, or be eligible for enrollment in kindergarten or first grade
- Grants cannot exceed $3,000 per student per semester
For more information about North Carolina’s Children with Disabilities Scholarship Grants Program visit, http://pefnc.org/.
Throughout the 41 Days of School Choice campaign, the American Federation for Children will be promoting programs using the hashtag “#41Days”.
The American Federation for Children is the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.
Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC) is a statewide organization that supports greater educational options through parental school choice. Simply put, parental school choice means allowing parents to send their children to their school of choice – traditional or nontraditional – regardless of address or income.