SB 6520, to provide special needs children and children in foster care with up to $15,000 in scholarship funds to attend a private school

Feb 5, 2020

Download file Download the full Legislative Memo here.

Key Facts

  1. SB 6520 would provide special needs children and children in foster care with up to $15,000 in scholarships to attend private school.
  2. SB 6520 would create a tax credit for contributions to non-profit organizations that grant these scholarships.
  3. The legislature intends this tax credit to enable parents to independently determine which school best meets the education needs of their children.
  4. Spending public money in private schools for the benefit of children is routine and common.
  5. The state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction maintains a list of approved private schools, including religious schools, which currently provide learning services to special needs children with public financing.
  6. SB 6520 would add an important educational program to benefit children with special needs and children in foster care.
  7. The bill would have no fiscal impact, however, on overall state education spending. The children who would receive scholarships are already entitled to a fully-funded public school education.

Many local public schools are not well equipped to provide adequate learning services to special needs children. Yet, because most students are assigned to public schools based on zip code, their families are not always able to access the services their children require to reach their fullest potential. Often private schools in the same neighborhood provide exactly the kind of individual attention many special needs and foster care children require, but these children are denied access to services because of Washington’s arbitrary ban on allowing students to use the public funds to which they are entitled to attend a private school.

Download file Continue reading the full Legislative Memo here.

Sign up for the WPC Newsletter