In a stunning move on Monday, lawmakers in Georgia approved (30-18) the expansion of the state’s private school voucher program when the State Senate expanded the program for students who have a 504 plan. This new plan would apply to students who had diagnosis of ailments including cancer to dyslexia to alcohol abuse and who have qualified for a 504 plan.
Under the current 14-year Georgia Special Needs Bill the only students who qualify for an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) can get the scholarship. Opponents of the bill cite tens of millions of public tax dollars to private schools while supporters cite that this bill can give parents an alternative when public schools fail to meet the needs of children.
In the version approved by the State Senate in March a student would only need a diagnosis from a Georgia doctor to qualify for the scholarship and leave the public school. As an extra layer of protection, the House added the requirement that the private schools must agree to give students a 504 plan before they can qualify for the scholarship.
The bill is expected to be signed by Governor Kemp this week.