For Kathy and Christo Visser and their son Jordan, Education Savings Accounts have been the key to astounding success.
Jordan lives with Cerebral Palsy, a neurological disorder that primarily affects coordination, movement, and balance. Although there is no cure for Cerebral Palsy, access to therapies can mitigate some of its effects on daily life. Although Jordan also suffers from dyslexia and vision impairment which make learning a challenge, education is still imperative to his future success.
For Jordan and his family, that success is attainable because Education Savings Accounts (Arizona calls their version Empowerment Scholarship Accounts) makes state education dollars available to Kathy and Christo to completely customize Jordan’s education. With access to these financial resources, Jordan’s parents are able to afford homeschooling, a tutor and intensive therapy.
On some afternoons, Jordan is now able to attend and afford therapeutic horse-back riding lessons and physical therapy which helps improve his balance and fine motor control. According to Kathy, “We had been working to get his balance better – a little molecule would blow by him and he’d be on the ground. We put him on a horse, three weeks later, you could brush past him and he could keep his balance.” This all because of the opportunities afforded to the Visser family by Arizona’s Education Savings Account Program.
Most fundamentally, Kathy and Christo remark that their Education Savings Account allows them to be the advocate for Jordan that the public school could not be (this by the way, is not necessarily the public school’s fault – it just wasn’t the right fit for Jordan’s unique needs).
“We have seen significant strides in his behavior, personality, speech, language, motor skills, and ability to play,” his father reports – a direct consequence of allowing these parents to make decisions according to the unique and individual needs of their child.
These are real results, helping real people, and there are so many families like the Visser family right here in South Carolina.
That’s why we need to codify and expand South Carolina’s Exceptional SC tax credit scholarships and parental tax credits. That why we should open up even more customization with Education Savings Accounts.
It’s time to allow parents to be the advocate in their child’s education that they so desperately want – and need – to be!