Recently signed into law, HB 148, the “Parent Choice in Education Act” (2007), provides every Utah parent with school-aged children who attend public school a voucher between $500 and $3,000 that could be used at any eligible private school. Children currently enrolled in private schools who meet the eligibility criteria for free and reduced price lunch would also qualify for the voucher.
School choice in Utah also offers a scholarship program, the Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship, for its special needs students. The amount of each scholarship is dependent on the level of special education services required by each student and what the student would normally receive in the public school system. Student eligibility includes:
Student's custodial parent or legal guardian must reside within Utah.
Student disability requirements include: mental retardation; hearing impairment; speech or language impairment; visual impairment; serious emotional disturbance; orthopedic impairment; autism; traumatic brain injury; other health impairment; specific learning disability or developmental delay, provided that the student is at least five years of age and less than eight years of age.
Student must be at least five years of age before September 2, 2006, and less that nineteen years of age on the last day of the school year or, if the student has not graduated from high school, less than twenty-two years of age on the last day of the school year.
Student must meet one of the following conditions: a) student enrolled in Utah public school system for the 2005-2006 school year, has a current IEP, and has been admitted to an eligible private school; or b) student is enrolled in or has been admitted to a school that has previously served students with disabilities, and an assessment team has determined that the student would qualify to receive special education services if enrolled in a public school.
Proper submission of a completed application.
For detailed information on the program or to obtain an application, visit www.usoe.org