Concerned about the expense of a specialized K-12 school for your child?

The cost of a specialized private school is expensive. From the necessary equipment, to multiple types of curriculum matched to each child’s specific needs, to the level of education of the teachers, support faculty and staff, and the specialty training the staff receives every year, the costs are real. But the benefits of having your child in a safe, nurturing and understanding environment where they can and will learn and advance academically make these schools worth exploring.

Here are five ways to make primary and secondary private education affordable for all families.

1) Tuition May be a Federal Tax Deduction. (Please check with your tax advisor. I am not a tax professional).
IRS Publication 502 Medical and Dental Expenses for use in preparing 2011 Returns. Page 13 “What Medical Expenses are Includible” states that, with a Physician’s recommendation, “you can include in medical expenses the costs (tuition, meals and
lodging) of attending a school that furnishes special education to help a child
overcome learning disabilities.”

2) Many states now offer a Special Needs Scholarship. In Georgia, the scholarship is called the SB10 Georgia Special Needs Scholarship. The average scholarship amount is $6000.00. It is currently expected to expand to include military families and foster children. House Bill 181, passed the GA House of Representatives on March 16, 2012. The proposed changes allow a student to move from a public school into a private school without having to wait one school year (which was the previous requirement).

3) Tax Credits for Education. Twelve states now provide opportunities for taxpayers to re-direct their state taxes to private school education. This is a dollar for dollar tax credit, not a tax deduction. This movement is favored by private school and public school proponents because it provides options for families seeking specialized education while saving money in the state education budgets. Florida offers $160 million, Arizona $150 million and Georgia (and others) $50 million. In Georgia, this tax credit has been in place for 3 years and it is anticipated that the fund will be depleted by mid-summer, 2012. The program is managed by Student Scholarship Organizations. Please see for more information.

4) Other Corporate and Community Scholarships. Most of us think scholarships are only available to college students, gifted students or athletes. That is no longer true. There are numerous scholarships for specific learning challenges designed to support primary and secondary education. The Goizueta Foundation provides scholarships and grants to Primary and Secondary schools educating children with learning challenges. Other, community-based scholarships are available for students with diagnoses such as autism, dyslexia, ADHD, Down Syndrome, and more.

5) Seek the assistance of a Funding Solutions Coordinator. Some schools, such as The Aurora Schools are committed to helping families make the decision to attend a specialized school a little easier. You do not have to be a student at one of the Aurora Schools to meet with our Funding Solutions Coordinator. Just call 404-377-8882 to schedule your appointment today. We will provide you will all the funding resources you need to help you help your child.

Author's Bio: 

Kellie Huff is the CEO of Aurora Strategies, Inc. a premier provider of Neurocognitive Learning and the Founder of The Aurora Day School, a fully accredited 21st Century School specializing in accelerated learning. The Aurora Day School has three locations in Metro-Atlanta, Georgia and a fully accredited online Middle School and High School with a dual enrollment option for post-secondary education.
Ms. Huff has been a licensed and ASHA certified Speech Pathologist, Educator, Author and Speaker for 25 years. She is a Member of the Sharp Brains Council for Brain Fitness Innovation and Past-President of the Georgia Speech and Hearing Association.