BY CAROLE RICHARDS
The Ohio Department of Education has two exciting programs for children with disabilities:
- Autism Scholarship Program (since 2004)
- Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program (JPSN) (since 2012-13 School Year)
In this article, I will explain the Jon Peterson Scholarship Program.
Who is eligible to apply for the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship?
NEW RULE! – When will JPSN applications be accepted?
Beginning October 1st, applications are accepted throughout the year. (Previously students could only enroll twice a year.)
How do I apply for JPSN?
The parent selects an Approved Provider who applies to the program on the family’s behalf. Multiple providers may be used but only one provider submits the application. (This is a very simple two-page application.)
Who are the approved providers?
Go to the ODE website to see the list of approved providers. They fall under the following categories:
- Tuition at private schools that offer special education services
- Education service providers and other private therapists (i.e. speech and OT)
What is the value of the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship?
Scholarship amounts will be based on the child’s Special Education Category. If a child has more than one disability, they may qualify under multi-handicapped. Your child’s eligibility is determined by your school district on the Education Testing Report (ETR) in Section 4.
Will parents/legal guardians have to pay any amount of money?
They are responsible for any costs exceeding the amount of the scholarship.
Are children in private schools or homeschooled students eligible?
Yes, but they must first obtain an IEP from their district of residence.
Can my child attend school in the public district and use JPSN to pay for IEP support services?
No. You must choose the public district or the JPSN, not both.
Will every child who applies for JPSN be awarded a scholarship?
No, the number of scholarships cannot exceed 5% of the total number of Ohio students currently identified as a child with a disability.
If my child is awarded a scholarship, how long can he/she continue to use JPSN?
Until age 22, however, the scholarship application process occurs on a yearly basis. If the student has a current IEP and continues to be identified as having a disability by their resident district then a parent may submit a renewal application for the next program year.
For More Information: Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program
If you want to learn about the Autism Scholarship Program, go to:
North Coast Tutoring Services is an approved provider for both the Jon Peterson and Autism Scholarship Programs.
Carole Richards is president of North Coast Tutoring Services, President of the Creative Education Institute, author of Richards Learning Systems and a frequent guest on radio and TV. She can be reached at www.northcoasted.com.