MDE prepares to open lottery for special needs scholarship program

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Mississippi Department of Education will hold a lottery on July 14 to award 58 Education Scholarship Accounts to special needs students across the state.
After the Equal Opportunity For Students With Special Needs Act was passed in 2015, MDE began distributing 435 scholarships every year to parents of students with disabilities who want to enroll their child in private school instead of public school. The funding provided helps defray that cost, a press release from MDE states.
Each scholarship recipient is eligible for up to $6,494 in reimbursement of costs for private education for the 2017-2018 school year, the release states.
At of the end of June, 337 scholarship recipients were determined to be returning from the previous year, leaving 58 slots open and 257 applications on the waiting list. According to state law, MDE will hold a lottery to fill those open positions, the release states.
In order to qualify for the ESA program, applicants must be Mississippi residents, have an active Individualized Education Program within five years of the application date and the parent must agree to the rules of participation.
More information on the program and how to apply can be found at or by calling the MDE Office of Special Education at 601-359-3498.

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