Private school for disabled children: the state will pay
Updated: Dec 7, 2020
You have a child with special needs, and you think that a private school would provide a better education for your child than a public school. However, you’re concerned about whether you’ll be able to afford the tuition. Oklahoma has created the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program, to address this issue.
Under the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program, if you have a child with disabilities, the state will pay part or all of the tuition for you to send your child to a private school of your choice. For your child to be eligible for a scholarship, the following conditions must be met:
The private school must be approved by the state for participation in the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program. See a list of approved private schools here.
Your child must have been accepted to the private school before you apply for a scholarship.
Your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) must be currently in effect when you apply for a scholarship.
You must apply for the scholarship before December 1 of the year the scholarship is requested. (That is, if you apply for a scholarship for the 2019-2020 school year, you must apply by December 1, 2019.) You may apply after December 1, but, if you do, the funds will not be available until the beginning of the next school year.
Your child must have “spent the prior school year in attendance” at a public school in Oklahoma, before you apply for the scholarship for the first time. (After your child receives the scholarship for the first year, you may renew the scholarship annually.) In other words, if you first apply for a scholarship for the 2019-2020 school year, your child must have “spent” the 2018-2019 school year in attendance at a public school in Oklahoma. A child is considered to have “spent” the school year in attendance if the child was enrolled in, and reported by, the school district for funding purposes that year.
A student does not need to have “spent the prior school year in attendance” at a public school, in order to receive benefits through the Lindsey Nicole Henry scholarship program if:
The student is the child of an active duty member of the Armed Forces, and the child transferred from out of state, or from a foreign country, because of permanent change of station orders of the parent;
The student has been provided services under an Individual Family Service Plan through the SoonerStart program;
The student was in out-of-home placement with the Department of Human Services,
The student was adopted while in the permanent custody of the Department of Human Services, or
The student was in out-of-home placement with the Office of Juvenile Affairs.
Once your child receives the scholarship, you may continue to reapply for the scholarship each year, until the child
returns to a public school,
graduates from high school, or
reaches the age of 22, whichever occurs first.
When you reapply, you must reapply by December 1 of each year. Click here for more information on the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program.