Special Needs Scholarship Parent FAQs

Eligibility Questions

Application Questions

Program Participation Questions


Eligibility Questions

    Who is eligible to apply for a scholarship?

    Generally, any student who has been identified as a child with a disability and for whom the district has created an individualized education plan (IEP) qualifies for the JPSN scholarship program.

    The student has been identified by their public district as a child with a disability. [This means the child's evaluation team report (ETR) from the district states that the child requires special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA)].

    The student must also 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 JPSN Scholarship Program?

    A child is eligible to apply to participate in the program when the child is eligible to enter school in any grade from kindergarten through twelve, and if the child meets all other program eligibility requirements.

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    Can a community school student apply to participate in the JPSN 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 JPSN scholarship program. If awarded the scholarship, the parent must withdraw the child from the community school.

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

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

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Application Questions

    How does a parent apply for the JPSN Scholarship Program?

    If a student is eligible for the JPSN Scholarship Program, the first step is to select a participating JPSN 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 JPSN 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.

    If multiple providers are selected, only one is able to submit the initial application. Additional selected providers will be able to access the application after it has been submitted and register themselves as a secondary provider for your child.

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

    The deadline for the first academic term (July 1 thru  June 30)  is April 15th. The deadline for the second academic term (January 1 thru  June 30) is November 15th. Students awarded a scholarship during the first academic term may continue their scholarship for the entire academic year and would not need to reapply.

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    How should the district of residence address the scholarship on the child’s IEP if the child will be applying for the scholarship?
    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 JPSN scholarship program on the child’s IEP.

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    Does the provider have to accept my child for services?

    A provider participating in the JPSN scholarship program is not required 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 the provider’s policies.

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

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    How do I complete the scholarship application process?
    1. Indicate whether you intend to accept or decline the scholarship by checking the appropriate box.
    2. If you are declining the scholarship, sign the form and submit it to your primary provider.
    3. If you are accepting the scholarship, you will first need to enter the dates of service.
      • If your child is attending a nonpublic chartered school, indicate the service start date as the first day of school.
      • For all other providers, indicate the service start date as the date your child will begin services.
      • If you plan to only use a provider for part of the year, enter the last date of service as the service end date. If you intend to continue with the provider, leave the service end date blank.
    4. Next, you will need to allocate your scholarship dollars.
      • If you are using only one provider, allocate the entire amount to that provider.
      • If you are using multiple providers, work with them to estimate your costs for the year and allocate the funds to each provider accordingly.
      • If there are providers you are using who are not listed, write them in and enter the amount you want to allocate to them.
        Read How Do I Change or Add a Provider.
      • If you are unsure of the exact cost you will incur for a provider, make a best estimate.
    5. Once you have indicated your dates of service and allocated your scholarship dollars, sign the form and submit it to your primary provider.

    Note: You can change your allocations through your primary provider at any point during the year. You do not have to allocate the full amount, but you cannot allocate more than the total amount of your scholarship.

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    Can my child receive the Autism Scholarship and the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship?

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

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Program Participation Questions

    What services are covered by the scholarship?

    The scholarship pays for the child's education including goals and services on the child's IEP. Cost of education is only covered if the JPSN provider is a chartered non-public school or their educational program has been approved by ODE.

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

    The maximum scholarship amount varies from $7,248 to $20,000 per school year based upon the child’s special education category. 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 JPSN scholarship, who is responsible for the costs of these services?
    If the cost exceeds the maximum amount allowed per year based on the child’s special education category, 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 percentage of scholarship each provider can receive. Each provider has access to the electronic application for the student, which also contains each providers cost of service. The on-line scholarship system will track all payments and a printout of payment history can be obtained from your 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. The parent must endorse each scholarship check before the provider can cash or deposit the scholarship payment. By law, the parent/guardian is required to endorse scholarship checks over to a private school. 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 my child use services in the summer?

    The scholarship is an annual amount and our program year runs from July to June. If your child is approved for the scholarship during the summer months, then the scholarship can be used to continue paying for the services listed on the IEP throughout the summer. The scholarship cannot be used for summer services only.

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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 JPSN 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 you child is attending a special education program that is not a chartered school, they will not be 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 JPSN scholarship program provide specific services on the IEP do not provide minimum instruction. If your child is not attending a chartered non-public school, a non-chartered nonpublic 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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    How do I change or add a provider?
    1. Select your new provider and complete all required enrollment or registration forms.
    2. Complete the Request for New Provider form
    3. Submit the completed form to the provider that you want to add.
    4. The provider will access your child’s application online to complete the process 

    Note: Any time you add a new provider, you will need to reallocate your funds. Only your primary provider can change your allocations in the system.

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    What services is my public school district responsible for providing?

    By accepting the scholarship, you have relinquished your 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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    Who is responsible for making sure my child gets the services on their IEP?

    The parent must work with the 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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Last Modified: 12/30/2013 12:59:45 PM