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Is your child’s school a perfect fit? Recognize and respond to the fact that your child is unique, individual and specifically gifted. One size school does not fit all. Celebrate your child’s one-of-a-kind assets by finding the best educational environment to prepare for a successful life! Whether your child is performing with scholarly excellence or has challenges, there is no better community than Greater Atlanta and the surrounding communities for educational options to public school. Since around the 1960s Atlanta has become home to a great number of independent schools for students and families who wish to seek the best academic venues for their kids. This is especially true for any child who is not thriving in public school. If your child is academically gifted, a traditional public school curriculum may leave him or her bored or uninspired. They might need the boost of a stronger curriculum of studies. If your child has learning challenges and has been unsuccessful in the public school system, the good news is that there are so many options within this community that can be tailored for every level of academic achievement. Begin your research by visiting the following websites, designed to help you find the perfect independent school for your individual child.
• List of independent schools by county: www.privateschoolsdirectory.com • Georgia Independent School Association: www.gisaschools.org • Atlanta Area Association of Independent Schools: www.aaais.org • Georgia Association of Private Schools for Exceptional Children: www.gapsec.org
WHAT IF INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS ARE BEYOND YOUR FINANCIAL ABILITY? There are many ways that the cost of private education may be possible. One of them is The Georgia Department of Education, which gives vouchers to assist with tuition in private schools for students who have come from the public school system and have an IEP in place. Visit the website www.doe.k12.ga.us for additional information. Your personal income tax revenue can be earmarked toward scholarship money for the independent school of your choice, without it costing you a penny!
This is so important and most people don’t even know about it! Here’s how it works: Everyone in the state of Georgia has the opportunity to subsidize scholarship money for the specific Georgia independent school of your choice by simply contacting the school you want to support and finding out which Student Scholarship Organizations (SSO) they are affiliated with. They will provide you the guidelines and documentation. Then, you may make a donation to that school which will be 100% tax deductible! What a wonderful way to bolster the quality of education for Georgia’s children! Through these programs the sometimes very high cost of independent education has become more attainable for more families.
The GOAL Scholarship Program The GOAL Scholarship Program is one of many SSOs in Georgia designed to provide taxpayers a credit on their state tax return for a contribution made to the SSO. Taxpayers simply designate the independent school of their choice in Georgia and may then contribute to GOAL in the following increments: $1,000 (Individual Tax Filer), $2,500 (Married Joint Filer), $1,250 (Married Separate Filer). Corporations can contribute up to 75% of their Georgia tax liability. From these contributions, GOAL provides the school of your choice scholarship money for students. Taxpayers receives a full tax credit on their Georgia tax return. For example, if the taxpayer contributed $1,000 to GOAL and owed the state $1,000 in taxes, the actual tax liability would be $0. In essence, the taxpayer is telling the state where he wants his tax dollars spent – at the school of his choice. Taxpayers also receive a charitable deduction on their federal tax return. Each year there is a maximum cap amount that can be contributed to all the SSOs in Georgia (for 2012 the cap was $51.5 million), so it’s best to get your contribution in early before the cap is met. By simply re-directing some of your Georgia tax dollars, you can make a big difference. Southern Seasons Magazine
First cover of Southern Seasons Magazine Holiday/Winter 2012-13 issue on newsstands December 2012.