Scholarship Tax Credits Can Change the Lives of Special Needs Children
Days after Americans joined together to give thanks, we want to share a powerful story from a single mother to a special needs child.
She had to relocate her family because public school options in her community were unable to provide a stable, nurturing, or even safe atmosphere for her daughter. But making ends meet and affording private school tuition is a challenge for many parents all over the country– and that’s why My Kid’s Future wants to make a national Education Scholarship Tax Credit a reality.
NOTE: Due to the personal nature of this story, names of individuals and locations have been changed.
Laura has languished in public school due to multiple psychiatric, and sensory diagnosis and tic disorder and the public school setting being unable to meet her specific needs in a manner in which she can learn and grow in her own trajectory. Large classroom sizes, a sensory-overloading environment, lack of individual support and lack of understanding, knowledge or caring created a vacuum for her in which she has digressed considerably from 5th grade until last year.
An exit to homeschool for her well-being became necessary, as there were no options a rural community for a private school setting.
We have relocated this summer for a job with more flexibility so that I, as a single mom, can meet her needs and for a more suitable educational environment for Laura.
I selected a new school for her for many reasons. The teacher/student ratio (1:6) is unmatched in any other environment we have found. The support of a warm and encouraging adult who has the time for her and is able to observe and really get to know her will be of immeasurable value.
Laura can just be herself without the constant reminders of her differences in ability compared to sitting in a room with 26-30 other 9th graders for 7 hours a day. The individual curriculum will allow her to work at her own pace and continue to progress she began to make at home without feeling inadequate or being paralyzed by the fact that she in unable to do as much as her peers. She can continue to experience academic growth at whatever level she is capable of.
Her unique sensory needs being met in a smaller, less chaotic and customizable environment will allow her to function better and retain more information and will avoid being in such distress and physical pain from sensory integration disorder that she is distracted and overwhelmed all day.
Laura experienced severe and unrelenting bullying-much of which her public school was unable to abate. From being called a freak, psycho, being poked, made fun of, having hair pulled, having trash thrown at her, and being isolated, both by her peers and by the school in an attempt to protect her from her peers.
I believe that a private school setting will have many more options in controlling bullying and students who are victimizing others, enrollment is optional, if you are bullying or threatening, you are out. Our school has strict policy concerning how students treat one another. Also, being a small, and intimate setting the students are more educated an understanding about one another’s differences.
I am a single mom to Laura, and her care and medical expenses are exorbitant, monthly, even daily. Private school tuition is a huge stretch when added to her other needs being met on a single income, but I feel it is the only option for her and am doing everything I can to make a way for her to have a quality education in which she can grow and be safe.
Every kid deserves a chance to succeed. Click here to find out how you can get involved in your community and help extend educational opportunities to the children who need it most.