Gov. Brian Kemp is scheduled to sign Senate Bill 47

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At 3:30pm today, Gov. Brian Kemp is scheduled to sign Senate Bill 47, a measure that makes vital improvements and updates to the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the measure passed the House 91-71 and the Senate 3-23.


Among other key changes, SB47 will:

  • Expand the program to include a limited list of students with special needs (including autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, and dyslexia) who have a 504 plan and formal diagnosis from a licensed doctor.
  • Allow students who attended a public special needs preschool in Georgia to participate.
  • Allow students with special needs who are adopted from foster care to access the program immediately.
  • Make other updates to the scholarship program in line with the renewed need among families for help due to COVID-19.
The Georgia Center for Opportunity’s (GCO) take: “Gov. Kemp and lawmakers in the General Assembly have done right by Georgia’s special-needs community, and we applaud them for it,” said Buzz Brockway, GCO’s vice president of public policy. “Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic where so many families of students with special needs suffered disproportionately due to closed classrooms, it’s unconscionable to think we wouldn’t do everything in our power to lighten their load. This is an important first step as we move toward helping more marginalized communities access quality education options.”


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