Three Trident Academy families are among the first in the state to receive $10,000 grants for tuition as part of the Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children (ECENC), which went into effect on January 1, 2014. The scholarships are distributed through Palmetto Kids FIRST Scholarship Program, a South Carolina nonprofit 501(c)(3).
“The ECENC grants help families with children who have exceptional needs afford an education that is truly individualized,” says Kathy Cook, Trident Academy Head of School. “The cost of providing expert instruction to classes that often have fewer than eight students is a price that stretches a family’s financial ability. The ECENC grants will help make a Trident Academy education a reality for many families.”
Scholarships are awarded to families in quantities up to $10,000 each and are available to South Carolina students who qualify for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) from a public school system. Recipients of the ECENC grants can use the award to finance their tuition at an independent school.
Four Scholarship Funding Organizations have been established in South Carolina to serve four communities. Palmetto Kids FIRST supports independent schools and continues to accept applications for ECENC grants. The application requires an IDEA Eligibility Report or IEP dated within the last three years, or a district-issued letter confirming the student’s eligibility to receive an ECENC grant.
Families can initiate the IEP eligibility process by contacting their district Child Find Office. Many families have already chosen to work with the Charleston County Child Find Office which serves Trident Academy. The Intake Secretary for this particular office is Elizabeth Cowley and she can be reached by phone at 843.958.2700.
South Carolina taxpayers who contribute to Palmetto Kids FIRST are able to redirect up to 60% of their 2014 S.C. income tax and receive a 100-percent “dollar-for-dollar” tax credit.
If you have questions about the application process, please contact Jeff Davis, volunteer for Palmetto Kids FIRST, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843.501.1842. Families who wish to enroll their child at Trident Academy can contact Niki Leiva, the Director of Admissions and Marketing, at email@example.com or 843.884.3494.