News release

Three Schools Approved for Tuition Support

The Department of Education has designated three special- education private schools for participation in a new tuition- support program for students with special needs.

Students accepted for the 2004-05 year at Bridgeway Academy and Churchill Academy in Dartmouth, and Landmark East in Wolfville, will be eligible for tuition support if they meet criteria established by the Department of Education.

"Tuition support is part of our comprehensive program for students with special needs," said Education Minister Jamie Muir. "It will provide financial assistance for students with special needs who would benefit from a brief period outside the public school environment."

Tuition support assists students with special needs, including those with learning disabilities, by contributing to the cost of education at designated private, not-for-profit schools.

The amount equals the per-student expenditure in the public school system -- currently $5,550 -- and is available for up to two years.

Application forms for tuition support are available at the designated schools, by contacting the Department of Education at 902-424-7454, and will soon be available on the department's website at www.ednet.ns.ca . Applications must be submitted to the department by Sept. 15.

The department will give school boards $48 million this year, specifically to support students with special needs. Boards also use some of their non-targeted provincial funding for this purpose.

In addition, $5.5 million will be spent this fiscal year through the Learning for Life program, providing more professional support services like speech pathologists and resource teachers. This is a $3-million increase over the previous year.

Tuition support does not replace tuition agreements. Under tuition agreements, school boards provide financial support for students whose special needs cannot be met in public schools.

Tuition support is available to students who can be served in public schools, but might benefit from a period in a private setting. Under the program, students are prepared for a transition back to the public system within two years.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The education department has designated three private special-education schools for participation in a new tuition support program for students with special needs.

Students attending those schools may be eligible for up to fifty-five-hundred dollars a year for two years to help pay for their tuition.

Education Minister Jamie Muir said the tuition support program is part of a comprehensive program for students with special needs.

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Contact:

Bill Turpin
Department of Education 902-424-3150 E-mail:
jal            August 6, 2004      2:52 P.M.