Private, Christian Special Education – More Affordable Than You Think

November 10, 2016 | By More

By Megan Howell, Imago Dei School Principal

Despite the variety of options for private and Christian education, private Christian special education remains quite costly and rare. Parents seeking a blend of individualized academics and therapeutic support for their student with special needs are most likely to investigate public schooling because private special education schools are perceived as being too expensive.

In a recent poll conducted by One News Now, a division of the American Family News Network, a Christian news network, 96% of respondents said that “They are convinced private schools offer a higher-quality education for their children.” It would seem from this result that while most believe that private education does offer better quality education, many Christians do not consider it because the perception is that it is too expensive.

But much has changed since the days when private schools were seen as elite institutions serving only a privileged class. Today plenty of ‘middle-class’ parents of special needs students are investigating private schools, either in response to a specific academic need or out of dissatisfaction with local government schools.

“Over 60% of our students receive financial aid,” says Elizabeth Froemming, Admissions Director at The Imago Dei School at Trinity Classical Academy in Santa Clarita. “Many families who never thought they could afford private Christian special education have been pleasantly surprised to find out that they indeed qualify for assistance and can give their children the gift of an excellent Christian education. Through aggressive fundraising we have been able to build in significant financial support for Christian families who wish to make an Imago Dei education a reality for their child.”

Surprisingly, even some parents earning six-figure salaries discover they qualify for assistance, because schools use an aid formula that goes beyond income to include assets and special circumstances. Families with older siblings in college, for example, or heavy debts due to medical or therapy bills, school loans, or job loss, may receive help with tuition even though their salaries appear substantial. 

“Our son is thriving in Imago Dei” says the mother of a special education student. “We are grateful that The Imago Dei School has been willing to financially partner with our family to make a individualized, comprehensive education available to our son.” 

Don’t assume you can’t afford private, Christian special education. When God wants to do something, like give your children an education that honors Him, He finds ways to make it happen.

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