Special Education

Vouchers Approved for Special Needs

By Linda Jacobson — June 12, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2006 data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds, unless noted.


The parents of children with special needs will be able to receive vouchers to send their children to private schools under a new law signed by Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican.

Gov. Sonny Purdue
22 Democrats
34 Republicans
74 Democrats
106 Republicans

The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship, approved in the state legislative session that wrapped up April 20, is patterned after a similar voucher program in Florida. Although it won’t pay the entire tuition at many private schools, it will pay up to about $9,000 of the cost.

Opponents, including the state’s two teachers’ associations, argued that private schools are not required to accept children with disabilities and won’t be held to the same standards as public schools. They also describe the law as a step in the direction of vouchers for all students.

The governor, who is in his second term, also gave his approval to the Georgia Charter Systems Act, which will allow an entire school district to convert to charter status and receive the same flexibility over administration and instruction as individual charter schools. In the first year, five school systems will be allowed to convert in a pilot project.

A charter advisory committee will also be created to provide technical assistance and review charter petitions.

The fiscal 2008 K-12 education budget of $7.8 billion, an 8.6 percent increase over the current budget, includes $2 million for charter school facilities and to help the charter systems get started.

The budget also includes $178 million for a 3 percent pay raise for teachers, and $1.3 million to cover the 10 percent salary bonus for teachers receiving certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Another $44 million was budgeted for Gov. Perdue’s graduation-coach program, and includes an expansion of the program to the state’s middle schools. (“Graduation Coaches Pursue One Goal,” Nov. 15, 2006.)

See Also

See other stories on education issues in Georgia. See data on Georgia’s public school system.

For background, previous stories, and Web links, see Vouchers.

A version of this article appeared in the June 13, 2007 edition of Education Week


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.
School & District Management Webinar Fostering Student Well-Being with Programs That Work
Protecting student well-being has never been more important. Join this webinar to learn how to ensure your programs yield the best outcomes.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Special Education Opinion How to Build Inclusive Classrooms
If teachers start from the premise that all students can make valuable contributions, that opens avenues to success.
3 min read
A group of multicolored people stand together looking in both directions
Ada DaSilva/DigitalVision Vectors<br/>
Special Education Quiz Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About Learning Differences?
Answer 10 questions to assess your knowledge on learning differences.
Special Education What the Research Says Co-Teaching: Valuable But Hard to Get Right
Teachers worry that cramped schedules, power struggles, and uncertainty can hinder learning for students with disabilities.
5 min read
special report v38 15 specialeducation 860
Fifth grade teacher Kara Houppert and special education teacher Laura Eisinger co-teach a class in Naples, N.Y., in 2018.
Mike Bradley for Education Week