Peterson Scholarships Provide More Educational Alternatives

By Attorney Franklin J. Hickman

The Peterson Scholarships provide funding up to $20,000 per year for education programs for children with various disabilities who are not using the autism scholarships.  Peterson Scholarships can only be used for services from providers approved by the Ohio Department of Education.

The level of funding under the Scholarship varies depending on the disability:

$7,196: Speech or language only                                                               
$7,608: Specific Learning Disability, Cognitive Disability or OHI-Minor     
$14,832: Hearing or Vision Impaired or Severe Behavior Disability              
$17.902: Orthopedic Impairment or OHI-Major                                          
$20,000: Multi-handicapped                                                                        
$20,000: Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury, or Hearing and Vision Impaired

Basic Requirements:

  • The child must have a current IEP approved by the IEP team of the school district of residence and meet specified criteria for eligibility, including type of disability
  • There can be no official dispute proceedings between parent and district when initial application is made; disputes will not affect subsequent applications
  • Parent must select a certified provider who will apply to the Department of Education for the scholarship on the student’s behalf
  • Initial applications must be made as follows:
    April 15 – for school terms beginning between July 1 and December 31
    November 15 – for school terms that begin between January 1 and June 30
  • Upon approval of the scholarship and acceptance by the parent, the district is no longer responsible for providing education and related services except that the district must provide IEPs and evaluations required under IDEA.  The parent has, in effect, withdrawn the child from the district during the time of the scholarship.
  • The student is entitled to transportation to alternative program
  • Parents are responsible for all costs in excess of scholarship amounts
  • Peterson Scholarships cannot be used with other scholarships (Autism, educational choice)

Rules are at OAC 3301-101-01 et seq.  More detailed information is available at

Posted in Articles, Articles: Children with Special Needs.