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Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship for Students with Dyslexia Program

Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship for Students with Dyslexia Program

Mississippi has the nation’s only school choice program created exclusively for students with dyslexia. Enacted and launched in 2012, the program provides vouchers to families of children with dyslexia to attend accredited private schools with dyslexia therapy programs. On this page, learn more about the program’s funding, eligibility and restrictions.

Program Fast Facts

  • America’s only voucher program for students with dyslexia

  • 148 participating students (2015–16)

  • 2 percent of students eligible statewide

  • 3 participating schools (2015–16)

  • Average voucher value: $4,918 (2015–16)

  • Value as a percentage of public school per-student spending: 60 percent

Program Details

Mississippi’s Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship for Students with Dyslexia Program Participation

Students Participating
School Year Ending

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

Mississippi allows children with dyslexia to receive vouchers to attend accredited private schools that provide dyslexia therapy.

Student Funding

The maximum voucher amount is equal to the Mississippi Adequate Education Program base student cost, i.e., the funding amount provided by the state to public schools.

Student Eligibility

Students must be in first through sixth grade and have been screened properly and diagnosed with dyslexia. Students are eligible if they attended a public school before or a private school that “emphasizes instruction in dyslexia intervention.” The voucher is not available to fund homeschooling, virtual schools or students in juvenile detention schools.

EdChoice Expert Feedback

Mississippi’s Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship program has room to grow in a few areas. On funding, the voucher amount is equivalent to the average amount of state spending per student, not the average amount of state spending per student with special needs. For this reason, the Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship program has one of the lowest funding amounts when compared with other voucher programs for students with special needs. The program’s regulations also could become burdensome for private schools; for example, the state board of education is given authority to extend the length of the school day or year for private schools and even develop curriculum and determine textbooks. One way this program could expand to great success would be to mirror Florida’s, Georgia’s, and Oklahoma’s voucher programs for students with special needs.

Rules and Regulations

  • Income Limit: None
  • Prior Year Public School Requirement: Conditional
  • Geographic Limit: Statewide
  • Enrollment Cap: None
  • Voucher Cap: $5,355
  • Testing Mandates: None
  • *Limited to students with special needs

 

School Requirements:

  • Be a state-accredited special-purpose school
  • Provide comprehensive dyslexia therapy instruction delivered by state
  • Have Department of Education-licensed dyslexia therapists to children diagnosed with dyslexia as a primary learning disability
  • Provide the state all documentation required for a student’s participation
  • Provide parents with a written explanation of the student’s progress
  • Conduct background checks on teachers and other school personnel
  • Submit to annual audits of financial records by the state auditor

Governing Statutes

Miss. Code Ann. §§ 37-173-1 through 31

Legal History

No legal challenges have been filed against the program.

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