Equal Opportunity For Students With Special Needs

Program Information

  • ESA
  • Program Type: Education Savings Account Program, Special Needs Program

Student Participation

  • Parent must sign an agreement promising to:
    • Provide an organized, appropriate educational program with measurable annual goals
    • Document his or her participating student’s disability
    • Not enroll his or her participating student in a public school and not participate in the state’s Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship or the Speech-Language Therapy Scholarship
    • Acknowledge as part of the agreement that the participating student has no individual entitlement to a free appropriate public education from his or her home school district, including special education and related services, for as long as the student is participating in the program
  • Parents must use program funds only for authorized purposes
  • Every three years a€er initial enrollment in the program, a parent of a participating student must document that the student continues to be identified by the school district, a federal or state government agency, or a licensed physician or psychometrist as a child with a disability as defined by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. §1401(3))
  • Be accredited by a state or regional accrediting agency or be approved/licensed by the State Department of Education
  • Comply with the nondiscrimination policies set forth in 42 U.S.C. §1981
  • Provide parents with details of the school’s programs, qualifications, experience and capacities to serve students with special needs
  • Comply with all health and safety laws or codes that apply to nonpublic schools
  • Hold a valid occupancy permit if required by the school’s municipality
  • Have no public record of fraud or malfeasance
  • Offer participating students the option of taking a nationally standardized norm-referenced achievement test
  • Conduct criminal background checks on employees and exclude from employment any person not permitted by state law to work in a nonpublic school or anyone who might reasonably pose a threat to the safety of students

Data Update

Schools Participating
2017 Expenditures


Scholarship Cap
- $6,494 for 2017-18
-- This amount will increase or decrease by the same proportion as the base student cost is increased or decreased
Enrollment Cap
- 1,500 Students in 2017-18
-- New enrollment is limited to 500 additional students each year
Program Funding
$50.3 million distributed (2017)