ATLANTA (March 3, 2021) | Today, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan expressed his strong support for the passage of Senate Bill 47, sponsored by Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega), which expands access to education and learning opportunities for students with special needs through the expansion of Georgia’s Special Needs Scholarship program.

“Parents of children with special needs face additional, difficult hurdles in finding the best educational fit for their children,” said Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan. “My priority from day one has been to improve access for our students with special needs – and to provide parents with as much support as possible. I am thankful for Sen. Gooch’s partnership, as we work to ensure our special needs students, and their families, have access to a program that will better serve its original intent and overall mission.”

 “Families across the state have voiced their struggle in finding the appropriate education for their children with special needs,” said Sen. Gooch. “Senate Bill 47 would expand eligibility for students who may qualify under the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship and grant parents more flexibility in determining which school would best fit their child’s needs. I am thankful for the support of Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan and my Senate colleagues in passing this bill that will have such a significant impact on the lives of Georgia’s students.”

Under current law, parents of students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are notified of options available under the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship program and may choose to enroll their student at a different public or private school that best fits their needs. Senate Bill 47 expands the scholarship program to children with qualifying conditions who become eligible for accommodations under Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

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Macy McFall