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Arkansas – Succeed Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities

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Arkansas – Succeed Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities

Arkansas’ Succeed Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities is the state’s first school choice program. This school voucher program was enacted in 2015, and it will launch for the use of families in 2016. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, and more.

Program Fast Facts

  • Reduces eligibility requirements for dependents of active-duty members of the military

  • 13 percent of students eligible statewide

  • Annual voucher value: $6,584 (2015–16)

  • Value as a percentage of public school per-student spending: 70 percent

Program Details

Percent of Arkansas K–12 students eligible for the Succeed Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities

Click the + symbols to learn more about this program’s details.

Beginning in the 2016–17 school year, Arkansas will provide vouchers to students with disabilities to attend private school, with reduced eligibility requirements for dependents of active-duty members of the military.

Student Funding

Each student’s voucher will be funded at the public school foundation funding amount for the current school year ($6,584 in 2015–16), up to but not exceeding the amount of tuition and fees at the private school.

Student Eligibility

Students must be accepted to a private school and have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and be either (A) enrolled in an Arkansas public school for at least one year or (B) dependents of active-duty members of the military.

Friedman Feedback

In the state where black students were first able to receive quality education through integration of public schools, the passage of Arkansas’ Succeed Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities has become another historical milestone for educational opportunity. However, it is just one step. Eligibility for this program is too restrictive for Arkansas students. It should reflect the message of Little Rock: all students should be eligible for a scholarship to attend any school of choice. Further, the funding of the program is averaged at 70 percent of public school per-student spending. This cap should be raised to allow students greater purchasing power and access to more schooling options.

Rules and Regulations

  • Income Limit: None
  • Prior Year Public School Requirement: Conditional
  • Geographic Limit: Statewide
  • Enrollment Cap: None
  • Voucher amount: $6,584
  • Testing Mandates: Nationally recognized norm-referenced test
  • Limited to students with special needs who have either been enrolled in an Arkansas public school for at least one year, or are dependents of active-duty members of the military

 

School Requirements:

  • Be accredited by the Arkansas State Board of Education, the Arkansas Nonpublic School Accrediting Association, or another accrediting association recognized by the state board of education as providing services to individuals with severe disabilities
  • Be in business for at least one year, provide a CPA validated statement of fiscal solvency and insurance coverage, or provide a surety bond or letter of credit for the amount of scholarship funds for any quarter
  • Comply with health and safety laws that apply to private schools
  • Be accountable to parents for meeting the educational needs of the student
  • Semi-annually affirm under oath that the student has been enrolled in, and is attending and participating in, the school
  • Employ teachers with no less than a bachelor’s degree
  • Comply with federal antidiscrimination provisions
  • Comply with existing laws governing private schools
  • Adhere to the tenets of the private school’s published disciplinary rules before expulsion of any student receiving a voucher

Governing Statutes

Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-1901 through 1908

Legal History

No legal challenges have been filed against the program.

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