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Bill to extend ESA program will die

Photo by News Mississippi

A bill to extend the state’s ‘Special Needs Education Scholarship Account’ program (ESA) will die.

While the bill (SB 2675) to extend the ESA program until 2024 was passed by the Senate earlier in the session, Chairman of the House Education Committee Rep. Richard Bennett decided to let the bill die. While speaking on the decision, Bennett reportedly cited concerns about the program, while also saying that it should not be voted on until next year’s session due to the major changes that will take place in November’s elections.

Related: Senate passes bill to extend ESA program

Created in 2015, the ESA program provides up to $6,500 for parents seeking to find a new school for their child upon receiving a special needs diagnosis from their school district.

The ESA program is set to expire in June of 2020 if a new bill is not passed.

The program currently serves around 430 students with over 200 on a waiting list. Bills to expand the program and its funding also died also earlier in the session.

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