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Education Scholarship Account

Overview

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

Attention: ESA RECERTIFICATION

P.O. Box 771

Jackson, MS 39205-0771


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


Included in the allowable uses of the ESA funds is tuition at an eligible school.

 

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.

 

ESA Disbursement Dates

1st Quarter: Sept. 27, 2019   2nd Quarter: Dec. 20, 2019   3rd Quarter: March 27, 2020   4th Quarter: June 26, 2020

 

19-20 Reimbursement Forms

1st Quarter     2nd Quarter     3rd Quarter      4th Quarter

 

Report Education Scholarship Account (ESA) Fraud