The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program, a school voucher program, was enacted and launched in 2007 to help students with special needs access schools that best fit their needs. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history, and more.
One of 15 school choice programs exclusively serving students with special needs nationwide
3,811 participating students (2014–15)
11 percent of students eligible statewide
220 participating schools (2014–15)
Average account value: $5,396 (2014–15)
Value as a percentage of public school per-student spending: 59 percent
The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program allows any student with a disability whose parents are unhappy with their assigned public school to receive a voucher to attend private school.
Vouchers are worth up to the cost of the educational program a student would have received in public school, as calculated by existing state funding formulas. It excludes only such things as capital costs and federal subsidy programs. The voucher may not exceed the private school’s tuition and fees.
To qualify, a student must have been enrolled in a Georgia public school for the entire prior school year; preschool programs do not count toward this factor. The student must also have received special education services under an Individualized Education Plan at any point in that year. The student’s parent/guardian must currently live in the state and have been a resident for at least one year.
O.C.G.A. §§ 20-2-2110 through 20-2-2118
No legal challenges have been filed against the program.