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PROGRAM — Special Needs Scholarship Program

By Meredith’s mom, Beth

I am an educator and passionate about helping children learn.  When my daughter Meredith started kindergarten in our local public school, that passion for helping children was called to action.  I was contacted two weeks before her first school year ended and was told Meredith wasn’t ready to go into 1st grade.  I asked the school, ‘What do I do?’  They said they didn’t know.

So, I took on the task of researching and implementing interventions for my daughter over the summer.  During this process, I realized something was wrong and pushed to have her evaluated.  Meredith was ultimately diagnosed with dyslexia and was given an IEP.

I spent the next several years trying to get Meredith the services she needed in the public school.  Ultimately private tutoring was the only way that Meredith was able to make progress.

“I know, without a doubt, my child would not graduate from high school if we had remained in the public system.”

When she started experiencing bullying at school, I knew I needed to find another option.  That’s when I found out about the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship. This state scholarship allows students in the public school with an IEP, like Meredith, to take the state funds the student earns to a private school.               

Using the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship, Meredith started her third-grade year at the Academy of Innovation, a private school for students facing learning barriers.  There, the teachers had specialized training in reading instruction and students were taught in small classes to help students like Meredith.

Meredith has blossomed. I don’t know what we would do if we weren’t at her new school. I know, without a doubt, my child would not graduate from high school if we had remained in the public system.

I am an educator with reading training, and I could not have helped her.  It was beyond my training.  By the time she hit middle school, she would have been so far behind, I would have had an illiterate high school drop-out. To me and my husband, this has been life-saving for my daughter.


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