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Education Scholarship Account

The Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act enacted by the Mississippi Legislature during the 2015 Session created the Education Scholarship Account (ESA) program (Senate Bill No. 2695). It is a program designed to give those parents with special needs children the option of withdrawing their child from the public school system and receiving a designated amount of funds to help defray the cost of private school tuition or other specific allowable activities to educate their child. The administration of this program has been designated to be performed by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE).

Parents of current ESA participants do not need to reapply each year.

Parents who received the ESA for 2019-2020 must complete the recertification form in order to continue to receive the ESA award. This form will serve as your intent to continue receiving the scholarship for the 2020-2021 school year. The Office of Special Education recently conducted a survey to verify participation intent. If you did not complete the survey, you will need to complete the recertification form and mail it to:


Mississippi Department of Education
Office of Special Education
P.O. Box 771
Jackson, MS 39205-0771


Understanding the ESA Handout


ESA Application SY 2020-2021

The MDE is charged in the law with the responsibility of developing a standard application to be used to assess the eligibility of each applicant. This application is available here and also in each school district so every interested person will have the opportunity to apply.


Parent Responsibilities

The parents must promise to agree to five items before being eligible for the ESA program. The parents applying for this program for their child will be required, as part of the application process, to initial and sign an agreement that lists these requirements. This will ensure that students are not selected to participate whose parents are not willing to agree to abide by these requirements set by the law.


Allowable Expenses

Once the recipients of the program are chosen, they will be mailed an award packet. This packet will include an award letter and reimbursement request instructions. Since the law is very precise on the exact uses allowed for the ESA funds, the OSE has established a list of allowable activities that is available here and will also be given to each recipient of the ESA program in their award packet.


Eligible School Duties

Tuition at an eligible school is a permissible use of the ESA funds.


Mississippi Department of Education Duties

The law is very precise on the exact duties the MDE is required to perform. A list of these duties has been established and is available here. They will also be included in the award packet provided to the selected recipients of the ESA program.


2020-2021 Reimbursement Form


ESA Disbursement Dates

1st Quarter: September 30, 2020   

2nd Quarter: December 18, 2020 

3rd Quarter: March 31, 2021   

4th Quarter: June 30, 2021


Report Education Scholarship Account (ESA) Fraud