As a parent/guardian of a student who receives special education services in the Paulding County School District, you have an option to exercise public and private school choice. Under state law passed by the Georgia State Legislature in 2007, parents/guardians of students who receive special education services may choose to transfer their child to another public or private school in Georgia during the registration window.
Public School Choice 2017-2018 School Year
Public School Choice Requests will be accepted March 13 through March 31 for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year.
Under the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship (GSNS) law passed in 2007 (O.C.G.A. § 20-2-2113), parent(s)/guardian(s) whose child meets the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship eligibility criteria now have the right to request a public school transfer to:
• Another public school within their district of residence; or
• Another public school system outside their district of residence; or
• To one of the three state schools for the blind or deaf (Only students with the primary exceptionality of visual and/or individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may request a transfer to a State School).
2017 – 2018 Georgia Special Needs Student Scholarship Eligibility Criteria
In order to qualify for the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program a student must meet the following requirements:
• Student Eligibility Criteria 1- A student have must a parent/guardian who currently lives in Georgia and has been a resident for at least one calendar year.
• Student Eligibility Criteria 2- A student was enrolled and completed the 2016 – 2017 school year in a Georgia public school in grades kindergarten through twelfth.
• Student Eligibility Criteria 3- A student was reported attending a Georgia public school by a school district(s) during mandatory student counts conducted in October 2016 and March 2017.
• Student Eligibility Criteria 4 - A student does not need to have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for the entire school year to qualify for the GSNS Program. A student must have received special education services at some point during the 2016 – 2017 school year through an IEP. A student must be reported by a school district(s) in either the October 2016 OR March 2017 student counts OR in final student record as a student receiving special education services by the end of the 2016 – 2017 school year.
If a student attended a private school through the Special Needs Scholarship Program during the 2016 – 2017 school year, a parent/guardian is eligible for public school choice options for the 2017 – 2018 school year.
A school system reviewing a transfer request must evaluate the request based on availability of space and/or the availability of a special education program at the requested public school that can meet the services outlined in a student’s IEP. If there is no space available and/or if the public school requested by a parent/guardian cannot provide the special education services outlined in a student’s IEP, then the school system can deny the transfer request.
If a transfer request is granted by a school system, the student will be allowed to complete all grades at a school. For example, if a student is granted a transfer request to a middle school that serves grades 6 - 8, the transfer request would apply to the student’s attendance through grade 8. The parent would need to file another transfer request if the parent wished to send the student to a different high school.
Deadline for public school transfer requests is March 31, 2017 for (2017-2018 school year).
For more information, follow the link below to the Georgia Department of Education website or the link to the Superintendent’s letter to parents.