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Children With Special Needs: Gov. Calls Out Dept. of Education on Procedure for Scholarships

JACKSON, Miss.–You may remember the new law that will provide 500 scholarships to parents of children with special needs that could send them to another school if they are not getting the education they need where they are. Well, maybe not 500. Gov. Phil Bryant called the Dept. of Education out Thursday on what may become their way of administering the new program.

Bryant said on the Gallo Show Thursday that he has sent a letter to the department because the process may be too difficult for some parents.

“You have to do so between the first of July and the tenth of July, ten days,” he said. “How on earth would you know that? We’re trying to find out if it’s somewhere other than the website for the Dept. of Education.”

News Mississippi checked the Dept. of Education website and found a news release dated June 8 regarding the policies and procedures for the new program. The release confirmed most of what Bryant objected to.. You can read it here.

Bryant said another difficulty is that in the proposal, there is no online application, only “snail mail”.

“Why not have it open the entire time? What’s the problem of having an online system that you could qualify that child?”


Bryant also claimed that six percent of the money appropriated for the program would be used for administrative costs within the department.

“That would equal out to about 38 scholarships,” said Bryant.

About $3 million was appropriated during the legislative session this year to fund the pilot program, which some refer to as a “voucher program. In 2014, it was shot down by Democrats and some Republicans, but was passed, with some changes, in the 2015 session.


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