This is a memorandum to parents and guardians and private schools participating in the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program Act.
It explains the procedure for applying for a scholarship beginning August 26, 2011.
HB 1744 is a law (70 S.D. § 13-102.2) that amends the LNH Scholarship Act beginning August 26, 2011. Section A of the Act allows the parent/guardian of a public school student with a disability to exercise their parental option and request to have an LNH Scholarship awarded for their child to enroll in and attend a private school, if the child was on an Individualized Education Program (IEP) prior to the request and has spent the previous school year in attendance at a public school in the state by being reported by a school district for funding purposes during that year. Exceptions will apply to a student who is a child of a member of the United States Armed Forces who transfers to a school in this state from out of state or from a foreign country pursuant to the permanent change of station orders.
Section B of the Act requires the parent/guardian to notify the OSDE directly of the intent to participate in the LNH Scholarship program. The parent/guardian must make this request by completing the application process annually to provide necessary eligibility and accountability information.
The procedure for submitting an application to receive the LNH Scholarship is as follows:
1. To be eligible to participate in the LNH Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program, a private school will notify the OSDE of its intent to participate. The notice shall specify the grade levels and services that the private school has available for students with disabilities who are participating in the scholarship program. The OSDE will approve a private school as eligible to participate in the scholarship program upon determination that it meets specified requirements.
2. The parent must obtain acceptance for admission of the student to a private school that is eligible for the program as provided in subsection in the Act.
3. The parent/guardian will notify the OSDE directly of its request for the scholarship by submitting the Lindsey Nicole Henry (LNH) Scholarship Application for new applicants or the Annual Renewal Application and required documents to the OSDE by December 1 of the school year requested.
4. The OSDE will verify the application information and complete the calculation request, notifying the parent and the private school of the calculated amount of funds available for the scholarship within ten (10) days after receiving the scholarship request. The maximum scholarship granted for an eligible student with disabilities will be the amount calculated or the amount of tuition and fees for the private school, whichever is less, minus up to two and one-half percent (2 1⁄2 %) of the scholarship amount that will be retained by the OSDE as a fee for administrative services rendered.
5. The private school will send a quarterly verification of the child’s continued enrollment and attendance at the private school and a quarterly invoice to the OSDE-SES. Payments will be made at the end of each quarter after attendance is verified.
6. Upon issuance of a scholarship warrant, the parent/guardian to whom the warrant is made will restrictively endorse the warrant to the private school for deposit into the account of the private school. The OSDE will not be responsible or any additional costs associated with special education and related services incurred by the private school for the student.
7. The private school will submit an annual, notarized, sworn compliance statement to the OSDE certifying compliance with state laws.
8. The OSDE will cross-check the list of participating scholarship students with the public school enrollments prior to each scholarship payment to avoid duplication.
The LNH Scholarship Application for New Applicants and Annual Renewal Application with supporting documents must be submitted by the parent/guardian to the OSDE by December 1 of the year that parent/guardian is seeking the scholarship, beginning with the 2011-2012 school year.
The application process must be completed each year that the parent/guardian chooses to participate in the LNH Scholarship.
The LNH Scholarship Application is available online to parents/guardians on the OSDE Website at <www.sde.state.ok.us>, and can also be obtained by contacting the OSDE, Special Education Services (SES). The application can be downloaded and mailed or faxed to the OSDE for the parent/guardian’s convenience. Applications received after the December 1 deadline will be considered for the following school year.
If you have additional questions about the LNH Scholarship Application process or the LNH Scholarship Reimbursement, please contact me, (405) 521-4865.
cc: Private School Directors