Mississippi Senate Approves More Educational Options for Special Needs Children

Washington, D.C. (March 13, 2014) – The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, applauds the Mississippi Senate for passing the Equal Opportunity for All Students with Special Needs Act, a new education model that gives parents of special needs children the ability to customize their child’s education. The Senate passed the House version of the bill (HB765), which creates educational savings accounts, or ESAs, so parents of special needs children can use their educational funds to tailor their child’s education specifically to their needs.
“Educational choice empowers parents to make the best choices for their child’s education” said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel for the American Federation for Children. “It is exciting to see Mississippi continue to take significant steps in the creation and implementation of an ESA program, which we have seen succeed in Arizona, to help children with special needs access an educational option that will give them the tools they need to succeed.”
The Senate made a few changes to the HB765. The bill now goes back to the House where House members could choose to accept the Senate amendments or seek a Conference Committee to resolve differences.
Arizona is the only other state with an ESA program. Anita Belcher is a single mother of two boys, one has Autism and the other has Down’s syndrome. Her main concern was giving her children the best education possible and the Arizona ESA has allowed her to send her son to a private school where he has thrived because the education he receives is customized to his needs.
Hear Anita tell her story and how the Arizona ESA has been a gift to her family:


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.
Kevin P. Chavous is a noted attorney, author, and national school reform leader. A former member of the Council of the District of Columbia and a former chairman of D.C.’s Education Committee, Chavous was responsible for enacting numerous education reforms in D.C. Chavous also presides as board chair for Democrats for Education Reform and is a former chair of the Black Alliance for Educational Options.


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