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Gwinnett County Public Schools

Georgia Special Needs Scholarship (GSNS)

  The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program (GSNS) is a school choice program available for special needs students attending Georgia public schools who are served under an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan.

Students with an IEP (Senate Bill 10)

If a student meets the eligibility criteria for the GSNS, a parent/guardian has the right to request a transfer from the student’s current public school to:

  • another public school within their district of residence; or
  • another public school district outside their district of residence; or
  • one of the state schools for the blind or deaf; or
  • a private school authorized to participate in the

To qualify for the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship award with an IEP, the student must meet specific requirements.

Funds received through the GSNS Program only can be used to pay for tuition and fees at a private school authorized by the State Board of Education to participate in the program.

Students with a 504 Plan (Senate Bill 47)

To qualify for the Georgia Special Scholarship award with a 504 Plan, the student must meet all three requirements:

  • Student Criteria 1- A student must have a parent who currently resides in Georgia and has been a Georgia resident for at least one calendar year, however, the one-year requirement shall not apply if the student's parent is an active-duty military service member stationed in Georgia within the previous year; AND
  • Student Criteria 2- The student spent the prior school year in attendance at a Georgia public school. Prior school year in attendance means that the student was enrolled and reported by a public school system or school systems for funding purposes at the time of at least one FTE program count, conducted each school year in October and March. Prior school year in attendance shall not apply if:
    • The student’s parent is an active-duty military service member stationed in Georgia within the previous year; OR
    • The student has been adopted or placed in a permanent guardianship from foster care pursuant to an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction within the previous year; OR
    • The student previously qualified for a scholarship as provided in state law; AND
  • Student Criteria 3- The student had a 504 plan in effect during the previous school year relating to one or more of the conditions below:
  1. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Attention deficit disorder (ADD);
  2. Autism spectrum disorder;
  3. Bipolar disorder;
  4. Cancer;
  5. Cerebral palsy;
  6. Cystic fibrosis;
  7. Deafness;
  8. Down syndrome;
  9. Drug or alcohol abuse;
  10. Dual sensory impairment;
  11. Dyslexia;
  12. Emotional or behavioral disorder;
  13. Epilepsy;
  14. Hearing impairment;
  15. Intellectual disability;
  16. Muscular dystrophy
  17. Specific learning disability;
  18. Spina bifida;
  19. Traumatic brain injury;
  20. Visual impairment; or
  21. Any rare disease identified by the National Institutes of Health’s Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center’s list of rare disease