Educational Options for Students
Just because a parent lives in a particular school district, doesn’t mean that the public school is the right option for a student. In fact, it’s common that a specific school is not the right fit for a student – especially for those students with disabilities. Fortunately, there are many school choice options for parents in Ohio.
Option 1: Public School in district and outside of the residential district
Ohio has restricted open enrollment for public school. Meaning, parents cannot send their child to another district unless that district accepts transfer students. Sometimes this option is used when a district that is close to a given student offers better services than the residential district. We have seen cases where students thrive in a different public school, due to social reasons, academic reasons, etc. Parents should not discount this option, as it can be less expensive than other choices.
Option 2: Ohio Charter Schools
Ohio Charter Schools are a free option. Parents who are not comfortable with the public school of residence (or a neighboring system) should consider whether there is a charter school that can meet the needs of a student. Charter schools can be mission oriented. Charter schools are publicly funded, but privately managed schools.
Option 3: Ohio Magnate Schools
Ohio’s magnate schools are theme based, free schools. There are some pretty amazing theme based magnate schools that focus on STEM based learning and on performing arts (think of the movie FAME). So, if you have a budding engineer or actor, a magnate school might be a perfect fit.
Option 4: Traditional Private Schools
Ohio is lucky to have some incredible private schools, both religious and non-religious. However, tuition can be pretty steep for these schools. For parents of special needs students, many of these schools will accept the Jon Peterson Grant or the Autism Scholarship. Grants and scholarships like these can assist families, both partially or fully, when funding this type of education.
Option 5: Miscellaneous or Other Options
Since the pandemic, many more parents have turned to Ohio Online Learning or other homeschooling options. If parents opt for online learning, they can access many free schools (or e-schools). Likewise, parents can find many online resources to assist with homeschooling. Parents can use the Jon Peterson Scholarship to fund specialized instruction or services contained in their child’s Individual Education Program.
Flexibility is Key to Success
While there are many special education options in Ohio, flexibility may be key to success. Just because one school does not work in a given year, doesn’t mean that a different setting or returning to a former setting can’t work the next year. Choosing a special education attorney can help you to find different consultants that will assist in selecting the right setting for your student(s). If a student is not making meaningful progress, don’t hesitate to consider a different option.
If you have further questions or would like to discuss further with our Student & Athlete Defense attorneys, please contact Susan Stone (SCS@kjk.com; 216.736.7220) or Kristina Supler (KWS@kjk.com; 216.736.7217).