Governor Haslam Approves School Choice for Children with Special Needs
Tennessee to offer Education Savings Accounts
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed the Individualized Education Act (IEA), giving parents of students with disabilities unprecedented control in making education and therapy decisions for their children.
“Thanks to the strong leadership of Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee lawmakers, the families of more than 18,000 children will have the freedom and funding to make life-changing decisions,’’ said Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd). “One size does not fit all in education, particularly for students who have special needs. Now parents, who know the needs of their child best, will be able to design customized education plans for their children, better ensuring their success in academics and life.’’
The IEA will provide participating parents with an education savings account, which they can use to send their child to the private school of their choice; to educate them at home and cover the cost of curriculum, books and materials; to enroll them in online learning, college courses or individual classes at a public K-12 school or any combination of the above. The funding amount will be based on the cost of sending a child to a traditional public school.
Levesque added, “If vouchers are a rotary telephone, Education Savings Accounts are the smartphones of school choice programs, empowering parents to match the educational services with their child’s learning needs.
“Congratulations to Governor Bill Haslam, as well as Senator Dolores Gresham and Representative Debra Moody, who authored the bill in their respective chambers. They are true champions for parental choice and student success. We also commend our partners in achieving this milestone in school choice: Americans for Prosperity, the Beacon Center of Tennessee, StudentsFirst and the Tennessee Federation for Children.”
Highlights of Tennessee’s IEA include:
- Provides a customized education for students with special needs, giving parents the flexibility to direct their child’s funding to the schools, courses, programs and services that best fit their children’s needs through an IEA.
- Provides for the Department of Education to deduct up to four percent from IEA funds to cover the costs of administering the program. Both the state and local school districts are projected to save money under the program.
- Requires the Department of Education to:
- Ensure funds are used only for educational purposes.
- Provide parents with a written explanation of the allowable uses of the money and their responsibilities.
- Provide for random, quarterly and annual audits.
- Set up fraud reporting.
- Suspend or terminate any school or provider that fails to comply with the requirements of the program.
- Requires participating students to annually take either a nationally norm-referenced exam or a state test in math and English. Results must be reported to the parent.
Tennessee becomes the fifth state in the nation to offer Education Savings Accounts, joining Arizona, Florida, Mississippi and Nevada, which recently approved universal ESAs as the strongest school choice program in America. As a signature policy of ExcelinEd, Education Savings Accounts (also referred to as education scholarship accounts or ESAs) place state dollars designated for a child’s education in a personal account that parents can manage to cover the cost of customized learning. Account funds can cover multiple education options, including private school tuition, online education, tutoring, dual enrollment or therapies.
For more information visit www.ExcelinEd.org.
New Digital World Language Program from Rosetta Stone and Calvert Education Gives High School Students Opportunity to Earn Course Credit
“Calvert Advantage” Program Delivers Web-Based Spanish and French Courses
ARLINGTON, VA (June 11, 2015) — In an effort to further World Language education for students, Rosetta Stone (NYSE: RST) and Calvert Education Services have entered into a partnership that will give high school students the opportunity to earn course credit through a new virtual world language program. This rigorous offering, Calvert Advantage, pairs Rosetta Stone’s renowned language learning program with the vocabulary, grammar and literature components of Calvert Education’s virtual courses.
All courses are built (module/unit/lesson) using Bloom’s Taxonomy and meet the highest national standards, including iNACOL and theAmerican Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Students receiving instruction from a certified teacher in an accredited institution are eligible to receive course credits through completion of the program.
“It’s critical that we help prepare students to join an increasingly global workforce in which language proficiency will play a key role in their success,” said Judy Verses, President of Rosetta Stone’s Global Enterprise & Education division. “Our partnership with Calvert is particularly significant because it not only complements our already effective digital language learning solutions, but it provides schools with a new blended learning option to enable students to graduate with foreign language credits.”
“Language is a terrific way to tap into the power of virtual and blended learning. We are pleased that Rosetta Stone chose to partner with Calvert in offering this compelling program.” said Steve Gross, CEO of Calvert Education Services.
School districts can choose from Spanish I, II and III and French I for the upcoming school year (2015-2016), with the addition of Spanish IV and French II planned for implement-ation in the 2016-2017 school year. Calvert Advantage will engage students with advanced instruction and practice in reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Three levels of instruction support blended-learning environments, traditional classrooms and stand-alone courses.
Additional information about Rosetta Stone’s education offerings can be found online at www.rosettastone.com/k12.
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About Rosetta Stone Inc.
Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST) is dedicated to changing people’s lives through the power of language and literacy education. The company’s innovative, personalized language and reading programs drive positive learning outcomes in thousands of schools, businesses, government organizations and for millions of individual learners around the world.
Founded in 1992, Rosetta Stone pioneered the use of interactive software to accelerate language learning and is widely recognized today as the industry leader in providing effective language programs. The company’s cloud-based programs allow users to learn online or on-the-go via tablet or smartphone, whether in a classroom, in a corporate setting, or in a personal learning environment. Rosetta Stone is also a leader in the literacy education space, helping millions of students build fundamental reading skills through its Lexia Learning division. Additionally, the company’s Fit Brains business offers personalized brain training programs developed by neuroscientists and award-winning game designers to be fun and help keep your brain sharp.
Rosetta Stone is based in Arlington, VA, and has offices and operations around the world. For more information, visit www.rosettastone.com. “Rosetta Stone” is a registered trademark or trademark of Rosetta Stone Ltd. in the United States and other countries.
About Calvert Education
Calvert Education has been the trusted leader in distance learning for over a century. It serves schools and students in all 50 states and over 100 countries. Calvert programs represent complete experiences that blend online and offline learning, offering students the opportunity to acquire global skills. Students learn how to use their knowledge and skills by thinking critically and creatively, reasoning logically, and working cooperatively—skills that are needed in a global society.