• HenryCountySchools

    March 1, 2016

    Re: Georgia Special Needs Scholarship and Public School Choice

    Dear Parents:

    As the parent of a student who receives special education services in Henry County Schools this letter is to inform you of your options to exercise public and private school choice.  Under a 2007 state law (O.C.G.A & 20-2-2113), parents of students who meet the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship eligibility criteria have the right to request to transfer their children to other public or private schools in Georgia.

    Public School Choice Options
    As a parent or guardian, you may request to have your child transferred to another public school within your school district or residence as long as the school district has determined there is available classroom space at the school.  Please keep in mind if you choose to transfer your child to another school in the district, the law requires you to assume all costs and responsibilities related to the transportation of your child to and from the school for the duration of enrollment in that school.
    For your convenience, the district’s list of schools with available classroom space for the upcoming school year is available on the school system website at www.henry.k12.ga.us.
    Under “Announcements” in the column on the left side of the home page.  In order to process your request, you will need to complete and submit the “Public School Choice Transfer Request Form”, also available online.  Proof of residency that you reside in Henry County is required.  Before submitting this completed document for consideration, you must take your current proofs of residency to the school in the attendance zone where you reside and have school personnel complete the box in the upper right-hand corner of this form.
    Requests must be hand-delivered or mailed to Henry County Schools, Administrative Services, 33 North Zack Hinton Parkway, McDonough, Georgia 30253, and must be received by 4:00 PM, April 30, 2016 in order to be considered.
    In the event a particular school has available space and the number of transfer requests exceeds the remaining available capacity, transfer requests made pursuant to HB 251 and SB 10 will be reviewed and approved, or denied, on the basis of a lottery.  Once available classroom space is reached at a school, no more transfers will be accepted at that school.  Since it is possible that you may not receive your first choice, you may indicate more than one choice on the “Public School Choice Transfer Request Form.”
    The parent may request a transfer to a school in another school system if the requested school system has available space and the system and the school have a program with the services agreed to in the student’s existing IEP.  It should be noted, it is the decision of the requested school system as to whether it agrees to accept the student.  If the parent chooses this option and the school system accepts the child, the parent shall be responsible for providing the child’s transportation to and from school.
    The parent may also request a transfer to one of the state schools for the deaf and/or blind operated by the Georgia Board of Education.  Acceptance into a state school will depend on whether that setting is appropriate in meeting the student’s identified needs.  If the parent chooses this option and the child is accepted into a state school, the parent shall be responsible for providing the child’s transportation to and from school.
    Private School Option
    A parent who is interested in transferring his/her child to a private school in Georgia may be able to take advantage of Georgia’s Special Needs Scholarship.  These scholarships provide funding that can be used to offset tuition costs at participating private schools in the state of Georgia.  For more information on the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship including SB 10 and the parent application process, please visit the Georgia Department of Education’s website at http://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/Policy/Pages/Special-Needs-Scholarship-Program.aspx
    If you have questions regarding any of the information contained herein, please visit the aforementioned Georgia Department of Education website. 
    Debra Delaine
    Director of Exceptional Student Education
    Henry County Schools