“I have four children, and two of my daughters attend Holy Souls Catholic School in Little Rock. Both of my daughters have dyslexia. Holy Souls has become a niche school for kids that need extra help, and they have great speech therapists that work with dyslexic students.
Prior to the passing of LEARNS, we were paying out of pocket for tuition and their sessions with a therapist. One of our daughters had two sessions per week, and the other had three per week. That put a strain on our pocket book.
At first, I didn’t know the Education Freedom Accounts (EFAs) were an option for my family. I knew about LEARNS, but I didn’t think we would benefit. When I looked into it, I realized that, because my daughters had been diagnosed with dyslexia by a psychologist, we could apply. We did so and received funding for our daughters’ tuition. Now, we only pay for their therapy sessions.
Before we got the funding, one of my daughters was only getting two sessions per week instead of the three that were recommended by her learning plan and therapist. But it was all we could afford. Now, she can have all the sessions she needs because we don’t have to pay for tuition. This year, we’ll even have a little bit of money left over that we can use for sessions during the summer.
The application process was pretty simple. When I went onto the website, everything was very self-explanatory. I had all the documentation I needed, because my children had a professional diagnosis. It was all very user-friendly.
Over the years, I think communication to the public about the EFA program could improve. I heard about it through word-of-mouth. I already knew about the LEARNS Act, because it was in the news, but I never looked into it further until I heard people say my daughters might qualify for EFAs…There are kids in lower-income families that could benefit, and I wish there was more information provided to that population.
Honestly, I really hope this program lasts. With the economy the way that it is, it’s definitely helped my family.”
Arkansas mom, parent of kids with special learning needs, and Education Freedom beneficiary