Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Parent's Guide to the McKay Scholarship Program

The McKay Scholarship program provides the parents of special needs students in the State of Florida the opportunity to enroll their child in an educational program that may better accommodate the student's learning needs. While the scholarship will only be awarded to special needs children attending public schools in Florida, this program allows students to attend a different public school or a participating private school. Eligibility is determined by the existence of an Individualized Education Plan, which is commonly referred to as an IEP.

Eligibility Details and School Selection

While students eligible for the McKay Scholarship program must have an IEP to be eligible, there are several other criteria that must be addressed when parents are applying for funding. For instance, parents choosing a private school must ensure that a scholarship student has been accepted at the school, Similarly, a student's disability or other circumstances must not impact attendence to the point where he or she fails to be reported as enrolled and eligible for funding. Finally, parents should be aware that other requirements may apply, depending on their student's situation.
McKay Scholarship Program students may attend another school in their district or a nearby district if a parent so desires, but those who would prefer their child to attend a private school will need to verify their student's eligibility for attendence, the curriculum and other factors that they feel are important. Parents who want their children to attend a religiously oriented school will need to be certain that the institution's teachings are in line with their personal beliefs.

Research is Key

Because the program has fairly specific requirements for families seeking eligibility, parents should head directly to the program's website rather than doing an internet search for "McKay scholarships Tampa." If the information provided on the website leaves families with additional questions, they are encouraged to contact the Florida Department of Education; after all, having all of the facts is the first step toward choosing an appropriate school for a child.

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