Many families with children in special education face unique, expensive, and often frustrating challenges in pursuing appropriate education. Several states have implemented policies to help these families by offering them tuition assistance grants to pay for education at the public or private schools that the parents believe would best educate their children. These grants transfer to the schools of the parents’ choice all or some of the funding that would be used to educate the children at their local schools.
Freedom of choice is important for students whose individual needs require customized instruction. Implementing a tuition assistance grant program for disabled students in Virginia would expand their families’ educational options and even save public school districts money.
According to a study by Dr. Susan Aud, if Virginia provided tuition assistance grants of $5,000 apiece to parents of students with special needs, the average school division would gain a total of $11,943 for each student participating in the tuition assistance grant program. This means that a tuition assistance grant program would have the double-benefit of saving tax money while improving educational quality for some of Virginia’s most vulnerable students.
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