Wednesday, August 12, 2015

235 families approved for education scholarships for children with special needs.

The Mississippi Department of Education issued the following press release:

          MDE Approvals for Special Needs Scholarships Pass Halfway Mark

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) announced today that 235 families have qualified for an Education Scholarship Account (ESA) that will provide funding to parents of students with disabilities who want to withdraw from public school to seek educational services elsewhere.
Applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed for eligibility until the annual enrollment limit of 434 is reached. Parents of students with disabilities are encouraged to apply. As of August 12, 199 scholarships are still available.
The MDE began taking applications July 1 for the scholarship program created through the 2015 Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act.
To participate in the program:
·      the applicant must be a Mississippi resident;
·      the student must have had an active Individualized Education Program (IEP) from a public school within the last 18 months; and
·      the parent must sign an agreement to adhere to the rules of participation.
Since July 1, the MDE has received 342 applications. Two applications were withdrawn, and 105 applications were denied. The majority of the denials were because students didn’t have official IEPs issued by a school district. Per federal law, only a public school can issue an IEP.
Parents will be reimbursed for expenses quarterly after submission of a reimbursement request with proper documentation of expenses incurred.  Funds can also be paid quarterly directly to an educational service provider if approved by the parent.
The total amount of each ESA for 2015-2016 is $6,500. 



Anonymous said...

Good for them, both students and parents need all the help they can get.

Anonymous said...

The interpretation of the Federal law that private schools can't issue IEP's is novel. It punishes people who have taken their children out of public schools due to dissatisfaction with the state of SPED in MS. I thought the whole idea of the ESA was to help parents who were dissatisfied with what the public schools were doing with SPED? Now, those parents who had an opportunity to do better by their children by sending them to a private school are somehow not the deemed as dissatisfied with SPED in public schools?

We tried to enroll our daughter in the public school SPED program, but it was woefully inadequate, with no experienced teachers to help out hearing impaired daughter, no curriculum to help with speech development for hearing impaired children, and no real plan to address supports for her Cochlear Implants, which are vital to her educational advancement and learning. Yet, we were supposed to enroll her in that situation when Magnolia Speech School, a state accredited special school, had all of those things and more? This seems like once again the political and civic leadership in MS missing the mark when it comes to investing in all of its citizens.

Kingfish said...

Or if you were home-schooled, you're screwed.

Blackwatch said...

The sad thing is that one of the requirements noted in the application was that any students presently enrolled in a public school with an IEP would have to be removed from the public school and enrolled in a private school in order to receive the ESA reimbursements? What kind of logic does that make? Would that make them ineligible for the ESA in two years, since they would have been enrolled in a private school that can't issue official IEP's?

Anonymous said...

My brother is a longtime school board member. He's told me stories of some of the disabled students the district must accommodate. They have one building (about the size of an average home) equipped with hospital beds for students up to age 18 who have the mental and emotional development of an infant. They cannot speak. Workers must feed them, change their diapers and care for them all day. A nurse is onsite each day as well. The district uses a special bus to transport these students. I have no problem with public schools accommodating students with physical disabilities or speech and hearing difficulties, but caring for bed-bound teenagers still in diapers seems to stretch the definition of "school."

Anonymous said...

@ 11:50, what district?

Anonymous said...

Dear 8:56 a.m.,

The Mississippi School for the Deaf offers a comprehensive education for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Many students there have cochlear implants. There are also a large number of students at MSD who have come from Magnolia. Magnolia students can 'parrot' verbal English but are not taught the comprehension skills needed to succeed. MSD graduates confident, capable young men and women. From their website:

The goal of the Mississippi School for the Deaf is to provide for early language acquisition and to facilitate the development of two languages, American Sign Language (ASL) and English. This goal is accomplished with the belief that for most Deaf students, American Sign Language is the accessible, dominant language used for communication, and thinking, while English is learned as a second language. By fostering competencies in these two languages and by providing an academically and culturally enriched learning environment, Deaf students will have the skills and attitudes necessary to function effectively with members of the Deaf and Hearing Communities.

Anonymous said...

My daughter with Autism had several excellent teachers at JPS. Her reading skills are great, and she uses a computer with the Windows 8 operating system. She learned to do all kinds of life skills that regular people take for granted. Of course she still has Autism and will never be able to live on her own, but because of her schooling and home training, she has some independence. Also, the teachers helped me to better care for her needs and how to work with her to improve her life. I know every teacher is not the same, but my child's needs were very well taken care of at JPS, and I feel blessed.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS