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Archive for December 2018

WAITLISTED UPDATE: Hopkins Family’s ESA Returned

Christmas came a few weeks early for Missy and Will Hopkins as their son Alan was re-awarded a Special Needs Education Scholarship Account (ESA). The Hopkinses were left in limbo after a misreading of the law led to their dyslexic son’s scholarship being taken away. The release of the family’s #Waitlisted story in October moved…

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There’s a Better Way to Treat Nonviolent Offenders

Broken is a series that highlights broken pieces of our criminal justice system, how they impact people, and how we can fix it. “This has been going on 30 years for us.” That’s how Lonnie Bolling of Perkinston describes the life in and out of prison for his son Brian. “Brian started on drugs when…

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PEER Report Issued on State’s ESA Program

The report is in and 91 percent of Mississippi parents are satisfied with the Special Needs Education Scholarship Account (ESA) Program. That word comes from the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) report publicly released on December 18. The PEER report found that while parent satisfaction was overwhelming, there were areas…

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The Malones: How Can We Choose?

“How am I supposed to choose?” That’s the question Allyson Malone of Pontotoc asks with tears in her eyes as she and hundreds of other families sit on a Special Needs ESA wait list. Malone and her husband Chris have five children, two of whom are on the wait list. “It would mean the world to…

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The Joneses: Praying for an ESA

After raising their three biological children, Steve and Sue felt called to take on a new challenge. While most couples their age are beginning an empty nest phase, the Joneses added four young children to their family. Over the years, they have fostered 15 children, all since their last biological child moved out. “I felt…

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Pauline Rogers Standing in the Gap

Broken is a series that highlights broken pieces of our criminal justice system, how they impact people, and how we can fix it. Pauline Rogers is on a mission to help the children of those incarcerated in Mississippi, and she’s enlisted a large army.  As a field representative with Prison Fellowship, Pauline works directly with families…

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Special Needs ESA Mid-Year Lottery Announced

The Mississippi Department of Education announced today that a mid-year lottery for the Special Needs Education Scholarship Account (ESA) will be held on Thursday, December 13, to award approximately 41 available scholarships for the 2018-2019 school year. This year the law funded 428 scholarships and there are over 200 applicants on the wait list today.…

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The Berrys: Hitting Wall After Wall

Will and Jodi Berry of Sumrall are not unlike other parents when it comes to their worries and hopes for their children. But the couple has an extra burden to bear regarding their younger son Nathan because of the struggles he has faced in school. “He has had to go through so many hardships in…

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