Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs
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. 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
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.