In early April of 2015, Arkansas House Bill 1552 was signed into law. With this enactment, officials created the Succeed Scholarship Program for students with disabilities. Private schools that wish to participate in the program must be deemed eligible by the Department of Education. If the Department grants a private school permission to adopt the scholarship program, that school must supply either a financial statement or a surety bond to satisfy insurance needs.
Schools must furnish a financial statement that demonstrates they have adequate credit to operate in the upcoming school year. If the school chooses not to provide a financial statement, they have the option to post a surety bond in an amount equal to the scholarship funds for any given quarter.
In order for private schools to be considered qualified to participate in the scholarship program, they must satisfy the following requirements.
- Meet all requirements set by the State Board of Education as well as the Arkansas Nonpublic School Accrediting Association proving sufficient resources and services for severely disabled students
- Demonstrate good financial standing (surety bond)
- Comply with antidiscrimination provisions
- Meet all locally and statewide recognized health and safety regulations
- Employs teachers who hold higher degrees
- Comply with all state laws regulating private schools
- Be academically accountable to a parent or legal guardian for meeting the education needs of an individual receiving the scholarship
The scholarship will be calculated in the amount of tuition and fees for the private school. Scholarship funds will be distributed in equal amounts on a monthly basis. This program will take place beginning in the 2016-2017 school year.