Hendricks County lawmakers: New scholarship accounts empower parents, children with disabilities

(Left to Right) Jeffery Thompson (R-Lizton), Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon), Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis)

STATEHOUSE (June 24, 2022) –Hendricks County legislators encourage families of students with disabilities to apply for Indiana’s new Education Scholarship Account Program to expand academic opportunities for their children.

The program, established through legislation authored by State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) and funded by the biennial state budget passed in 2021, gives parents more tools to help meet their child’s academic needs.

“Some Hoosier students have disabilities that require additional help with school, whether it be tutoring or supplemental materials,” said Behning, chair of the House Education Committee. “Education Scholarship Accounts will provide them more resources, and help cover the expense, so they can stay on track academically.”

State Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton), a retired teacher, said families can use these tax-free scholarships to pay for pre-approved education services like tutoring, therapy and tuition.

“The urgency for more academic help has increased after the pandemic disrupted school for many of our students, including those with special needs,” Thompson said. “These scholarships give families more choices to use the programs that can improve their child’s education.”

State Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon) said participating families get 90% of their child’s state education funding, plus all special-education money, through these education accounts. Funds do not count as income for families of recipients and have no impact on other financial aid they may receive.

“All students deserve an opportunity to succeed, and this program empowers them and their families to take more control of their education and meet their unique needs,” Steuerwald said.

To be eligible for ESAs, students must have a disability requiring special education services and an individualized education plan, service plan or choice special education plan; choose not to enroll in a public school or receive an Indiana Choice Scholarship; and meet the annual income qualification, which is currently 300% of the qualification for free or reduced lunches. For a household of four, that’s $154,012.

Applications for eligible students open June 27 and close Aug. 5. For more information and to apply, visit in.gov/tos/inesa.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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