Free Enterprise

Combining Carson Smith and Opportunity Scholarships

It is now easier than ever for students with special needs to get access to education choice programs.

Senate Bill 44 from Senator Fillmore combines the Carson Smith and Special Needs Opportunity Scholarships into one program, eliminating the bureaucracy and thus making access to the program easier for families. 

The two scholarships have opposite problems. The Carson Smith Scholarship has more money than students using the program. Conversely, the Opportunity Scholarship has more students than money. Thus, it would be in the best interest of both scholarships and their students, to combine the programs in order to ensure that both have adequate levels of funding necessary to achieve their goals.

Students still utilizing the Carson Smith Scholarship will continue to have access to that program until they no longer need it. Afterwards, the leftover funding can then be used by the Opportunity Scholarship to fulfill the needs of its long waitlist.

The Opportunity Scholarship also allows for more freedom in how the funds are spent. The Carson Smith Scholarship can only be used on private school tuition. The Opportunity Scholarship on the other hand is more flexible and can be used to homeschool, microschool, or pick and choose classes and therapies to meet the special needs of the students.

This streamlines the applications and will expand the use of the program