Parents Denied Vouchers May Have Way to Appeal

Parents Denied Vouchers May Have Way to Appeal

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah parents denied private school tuition vouchers for students with disabilities may soon have a way to appeal.

Parents wanting a Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship would be able to appeal denials to a committee under a rule that received preliminary approval from the State Board of Education.

Final board approval is expected in the next several weeks.

The committee would include the state's scholarship coordinator and special education director and a board-appointed special education advocate.

Larry Shumway, with the State Office of Education, says appeals would have to center on points outside the law. He says for instance, the law says preschoolers can't have the scholarship, so that can't be appealed.

The state has awarded 128 current-year scholarships -- 10 more are pending -- and 78 retroactive scholarships, some to the same people. Shumway says 43 applications were denied.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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