Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signs new special needs ESA program into law

Today the American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, applauds Gov. Phil Bryant for signing into law the nation’s third education savings account (ESA) program. Mississippi’s Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act will empower parents of  children with special needs with the ability to customize their child’s education.

“Mississippi has shown its ability to innovate and truly serve students who have unique learning needs,” said Betsy DeVos, chairman of the American Federation for Children. “We applaud Gov. Bryant and the Mississippi legislature for their commitment to children and empowering parents across the state with the ability to make education decisions for their child.”

Surrounded by students and parents in Jackson, Mississippi, Gov. Bryant signed the Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act into law today, creating the ESA program specifically for special needs students. Through the program, qualified students can use traditional education funds for private school tuition, tutoring services or specialized therapy in order to customize their education to meet their unique needs.

“We have seen a rise in proposed ESA bills and programs across the country this past year,” added DeVos. “It truly is the way of the future for K12 education.”

Fast Facts

– Mississippi creates third ESA program in the nation – others enacted in Arizona and Florida
– Program serves students with special needs
– Qualified students will receive a $6,500 scholarship to customize their education
– Program is available to 500 students in its first year and then an additional 500 students each following year

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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.