Parent FAQs

Application

Eligibility

Program Participation

Provider Participation


Application

    How does a parent apply for the Autism Scholarship Program?

    If a student is eligible for the Autism Scholarship Program, the first step is to select a participating Autism Scholarship provider to implement their child's IEP. A list of registered providers is available through our online search tool that can be accessed through the Autism Scholarship web page or by going directly to https://scholarship.ode.state.oh.us . The application form is available from providers, and the provider will submit the application electronically on behalf of the student.

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    What is the deadline for applying for the Autism Scholarship Program?

    Parents can apply for the scholarship year-round. If a parent applies during the 4th quarter (April-June) service will not be approved to start until the new program year which will begin July 1st. The ASP program year begins July 1st of each year and ends June 30th of the succeeding year.

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    How should the district of residence address the scholarship on the child’s IEP if the child will be applying

    The district of residence must always write the IEP as if the district of residence would be implementing the IEP. There should be no mention of the Autism Scholarship program on the child's IEP.

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    Can my child receive the Autism Scholarship and another state funded scholaship like the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship or EdChoice Scholarship?

    No. Parents can apply for multiple scholarships for their child, but they can only accept one state funded scholarship.

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    Does the provider have to accept my child for services?

    A provider participating in the Autism Scholarship program is not requited to accept a student who is eligible for the scholarship, nor is it required to alter any of its business practices or policies under the program. A parent/guardian must comply with all of the provider's policies.

    If a provider participating in the Autism Scholarship program accepts a student, a parent/guardian must read and understand any contracts/agreements entered into with the provider. The parent/guardian must obtain written copies of any contracts/agreements entered with the school (e.g. tuition and fee schedules).

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Eligibility

    Who is eligible for the Autism Scholarship Program?

    Any student who has been identified by their district as a child with autism and for whom the district has created an individualized education plan (IEP) qualifies for the Autism Scholarship program.

    The student must have a current IEP from the district of residence that is finalized and all parties, including the parent, must be in agreement with the IEP.

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    How old must a child be to participate in the Autism Scholarship Program?

    A child is eligible to apply to participate in the program when the child turns three.

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    Can a community school student apply to participate in the Autism Scholarship Program?

    A parent whose child attends a community school may apply to participate in the program. The parent/child must obtain a current multi-factored evaluation (MFE) and IEP from their district of residence to apply for the Autism Scholarship program. If awarded the scholarship, the parent must withdraw the child from the community school to accept the scholarship.

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    Can I use the Autism Scholarship Program to supplement my child’s public education?

    No. The scholarship is an educational choice program. If a student accepts the scholarship, the public district is no longer responsible for providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The student must use the scholarship to obtain their education AND supportive services.

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Program Participation

    What services are covered by the scholarship?

    The scholarship can pay for the child's education including related services on the child's IEP. Only services provided by a registered Autism Scholarship provider can be invoiced to the scholarship.

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    What services is my public school district responsible for providing?

    By accepting the scholarship, you have relinquished you right to FAPE. Your district must renew your child's IEP annually and conduct required evaluations, but the district is not required to provide any services to your child.

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    What is the maximum amount of money available for the scholarship?

    The maximum scholarship amount is $20,000 per school year. The child must be in the program for a full academic year to claim the maximum amount.

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    If the services rendered exceed the maximum amount per year for the Autism Scholarship, who is responsible for the costs of these services?

    If the cost exceeds the maximum amount allowed per year, the parent would be responsible for covering the additional cost.

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    How do I know how much my provider has billed?

    For a parent with multiple providers, he/she will designate the amount of scholarship each provider can receive. Each provider has access to the electronic application for the student, which also contains each provider's cost of service. The on-line scholarship system will track all payments and a printout of the payment history can be obtained from our provider if there are ever any questions.

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    Do I have to sign every scholarship check?

    The scholarship checks are written to the provider and the parent. By law, the parent/guardian is required to endorse the scholarship checks. The parent must endorse each scholarship check before the provider can cash or deposit the scholarship payment. A parent/guardian cannot take a scholarship check from a provider nor can he/she refuse to endorse a check unless a written complaint has been filed regarding failure to provide the services.

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    Can scholarship money pay for transportation?

    If transportation is listed on the IEP as a related service, the parent may obtain transportation from a registered private provider qualified to provide such transportation and claim it for reimbursement through the Autism Scholarship program.

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    How will my child receive a high school diploma?

    If your child attends a chartered non-public school, the school will be able to award a diploma once your child has met state graduation requirements. If your child is attending a special education program that is not a chartered school, they will not eligible to receive a diploma.

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    If my child is receiving services on their IEP, are they required to attend school?

    A child between six and eighteen years of age is "of compulsory school age". Parents of children who are of compulsory age are obligated to ensure that their child receives instruction. Every child of compulsory school age shall attend a school or participate in a special education program that conforms to the minimum standards prescribed by the state board of education.

    Many of the service providers who participate in the Autism Scholarship program provide specific services on the IEP but do not provide minimum instruction. If your child is not attending a chartered non-public school, a non-chartered non-public school or an alternative public provider that offers a full educational program, then the parent is obligated to register their child as home schooled with their district of residence.

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    Who is responsible for making sure my child gets the services on their IEP?

    The parent must work with providers that they choose to insure that their child's educational needs are met and they receive the necessary supportive services.

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Provider Participation

    Who can provide services for students on the scholarship?

    Registered private providers and registered alternative public providers can providers can provide services under the scholarship.

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    How are providers registered?

    Providers register via our on-line scholarship system. They are required to document that they meet the minimum guidelines established for providers in law. The requirement for providers are detailed in ORC 3310.41 and amplified in OAC 3301-103-06.

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    Can a public school be a provider?

    Yes, a public school district or other public special education provider can register to provide services to children whose parents would owe fees for the services provided. For example, a school district could register to provide services to children in neighboring school districts.

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    Is there a set amount that providers can charge for services?

    Providers can establish their rates, but they cannot charge a higher rate to a student on the scholarship program than they would charge the general public.

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    How do I file a complaint against a provider?

    Parents can file a written complaint with the department of education if they feel that a provider serving their child under the Autism Scholarship program violated a requirement of the rules that apply to providers registered for the program. The requirement for providers are detailed in ORC 3310.41 and amplified in OAC 3301-103-04(B)(2).

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Last Modified: 12/23/2013 12:33:45 PM