During today’s voting session, State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) voted for legislation that would allow custodians of autistic children to apply for the Autism Scholarship on behalf of the child.

The Autism Scholarship Program pays scholarships to the parents of autistic children grades K-12. The scholarship funds up to $27,000 per student and is to pay at least part of the cost of sending the child to a special education program, rather than one provided by the resident school district.

Current Ohio law only specifies that the natural or adoptive parent of a child can apply for the scholarship, even in cases where the child is in the custody of a government agency or someone other than the natural or adoptive parent.

House Bill 299 expands that definition, allowing temporary, legal or permanent custodians of an identified autistic child to apply for the scholarship when the custodian is not the natural or adoptive parent of the child or a government agency.

“House Bill 299 expands the opportunity for this fantastic scholarship to a broader range of equally deserving children,” Rep Anielski said.

House Bill 299 now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.

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