Tennessee Leading School Choice Movement for Special Needs Students

by | June 11, 2015

Gov. Bill Haslam ceremonially signed the Individualized Education Act on Wednesday in Nashville, allowing the families of children with special needs additional educational options.

The bill was privately signed into law last month, making Tennessee the 23rd school choice state, and only the fourth state to have an education savings account (ESA) program for families of those with special needs.

ESA is a program that grants parents more flexibility to customize their child's learning experience by offering them more than $6,000 a year in Tennessee to pay for tutoring, therapy or alternative education.

"There is an education revolution sweeping the country and it has touched Tennessee- parents are hungry and anxious to take more control over their child's education, especially parents' whose children are trapped in schools that fail to meet their needs," said Tommy Schultz, spokesman for Haslam, in a written statement.  "...Tennessee has taken a positive step forward in offering parents and students access to quality educational options."

(c)2015 the Chattanooga Times/Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.)