Lawmakers expand access to scholarships for school-age autistic children

Ohio Statehouse. (WDTN Photo/Paul Rodzinka)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio lawmakers are expanding access to scholarships for autistic children.

The Ohio House on Tuesday passed a measure that would allow people who legally look after children with autism to apply for the grants of up to $27,000. The money is intended to pay for special education programs outside of what is provided by the local school district.

Previously, only the natural or adoptive parent could apply for the grants. If the measure is signed into law, anyone who legally parents an autistic child of school age, even temporarily, can apply.

House Bill 299 was sponsored by Reps. Bill Blessing, a Colerain Republican, and Jeff Rezabek, a Republican from Clayton.

Blessing says children shouldn’t suffer because those responsible for them “do not fit a certain definition of parent.”

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