Columbus - 
Few issues are of greater concern than that of our children's education. As you  can imagine, education reform was a prominent issue throughout the recent budget cycle. During  that time, my colleagues and I worked together to develop new and innovative strategies aimed  at placing our children at the forefront of educational policy. 

In order for Ohio's classrooms to become more competitive both nationally and globally, we  must recommit ourselves to the belief that all children are entitled to a free and quality public  education. It was with that thought in mind that I advocated for the Jon Peterson Special Needs  Scholarship which, I am happy to report, was included in the final budget bill that was signed by  Governor Kasich. 

Beginning in 2012, the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program will make scholarships  available for children with disabilities to attend special education programs not limited to those  offered by their school districts. Scholarships are eligible for children in the K-12 age range who  are deemed disabled. This new program is a responsible next step in bringing our educational  environment into full compliance under both state law and the federal Individuals with  Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  

Ohio's success and prosperity greatly relies on the opportunities we provide for our young  people. A fair and effective education can lead to endless possibilities for our children's future. I  would like to commend Governor Kasich and members of the Ohio General Assembly for  believing in this program, as well as members of the educational community for offering their  insight and expertise. 

I look forward to witnessing the good work and help that the Jon Peterson Special Needs  Scholarship Program is sure to provide for our families and children.
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