ATLANTA (Feb. 3, 2010) – Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) today introduced Georgia’s Early Hope Scholarship Program, to help military, foster and special needs children receive the best education opportunities possible.
“I know for certain that every child can learn if placed in the right learning environment. The decision of which environment serves the child best must be placed in the hands of those who ultimately have the child’s best interest in mind – the parents. Children of military and foster care often get shuffled from school to school and can fall behind. By providing parents a better choice for a stable learning environment, these children will be more likely to succeed in school and in life. The successful results shown by the Special Needs Scholarship are undeniable. These children deserve to be a part of this wonderful program that places education, not bureaucracy first,” said Rogers.
Children of military personnel and children in foster care would be able to transfer to another public or private school under this school choice proposal. In addition, the legislation expands the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program that already provides scholarships to those with learning disabilities to others with disabilities. Georgia’s Early Hope Scholarship Program would only serve students in grades K-12 and would allow parents to choose a learning environment that best suits their child’s learning needs.
There are approximately 14 military installations throughout Georgia where about 110,000 military personnel work and have children. This does not include National Guard and Reserves who have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan yet hold civilian jobs and live in communities throughout Georgia.
In addition, the legislation would make scholarships available to Georgia’s 15,000 foster children. Many of these children have learning disabilities and most are academically challenged, according to the Foster Children’s Foundation.
Rogers’ bill would also allow children currently enrolled in the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship to obtain a scholarship throughout the year and not have to enroll only during a short enrollment window. “We want to open up as many options for special needs children as possible. We shouldn’t be asking them to renew their scholarship in the middle of the school year,” said Rogers.
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Sen. Chip Rogers serves as Senate Majority Leader. He represents the 21st Senate District which includes portions of Cherokee and Cobb counties. He can be reached at his office at 404.463.1378 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Immediate Release:
February 3, 2010
For Information Contact:
Raegan Weber, Director