Children with Disabilities Scholarship Grants
In 2011 the General Assembly passed Session Law 2011-395, Tax Credits for Children with Disabilities. This law created an individual refundable income tax credit that parents of children with disabilities can claim for education expenses including nonpublic school tuition and special education services. This tax credit has been successful throughout the state and expanded the educational options for students with disabilities. Despite the tax credit’s overall success, certain provisions in the law limited its effect.
On Monday Representatives Jonathan Jordan, Marcus Brandon, Bert Jones, and Paul Stam filed HB 269, Children with Disabilities Scholarship Grants. HB 269 changes the tax credit into a scholarship grant, which allows more families to benefit from the program. The grants will be up to $3,000 per semester—the same amount as the original tax credits—and may be used for tuition reimbursement and special education and related services.
HB 269 states the criteria children must meet for the parents to qualify for these grants. A child must have an Individualized Education Plan and must be receiving special education or related services on a daily basis. A child must also meet at least one of the following requirements:
1. Was enrolled in a NC public school during the previous semester
2. Received special education or related services through the NC public schools as a preschool child with a disability during the previous semester
3. Received a scholarship grant for the previous semester
4. Is eligible for initial enrollment in kindergarten or the first grade in a NC public school
After initial receipt of a scholarship grant, a child will be reevaluated every three years to verify that that he or she continues to be a child with a disability.
HB 269 was referred to the House Committee on Education. Please contact your Senator and Representative to urge their support.