Can you help our Scholarship Fund?

As the result of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the understandable mandates regarding social gatherings, we have had to postpone 2 fundraisers, and may possibly have to postpone a 3rd. These fundraisers are crucial in helping fund scholarships and our reading programs.

Dyslexia and other reading issues affect 1 in 5 people in the United States. Sixty-five percent of Georgia 4th graders are not reading at the proficient level and 4th grade is considered the “watershed year”, meaning a child not reading proficiently has a 78% chance of NOT catching up. Two-thirds of those not reading proficiently by the end of 4th grade end up in poverty. We aim to prevent that for our students.

Most of our students attend private school out of need only, they are not being served in public school, it is not a luxury, and many struggle with our tuition, though it is among the lowest in the Northwest Metro Atlanta area.  Many of our students do not start with us until about 3rd grade, when parents start realizing their child is not progressing with reading. Our curriculum, combined with very small class sizes, gives these students an environment in which they can learn. You can read many of their stories HERE.

Our Ride 2 Read as well as our Spring Tea and Auction were postponed, and possibly our Dyslexia Rocks Concert, depending on upcoming developments. Combined, these fundraisers would have generated over $30,000 toward scholarship funds for our students. While we still plan to have these fundraisers, the timing & participation level are so uncertain at this time.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed Friday has measures to help non-profit organizations such as ours. This will apply only to charitable contributions made in 2020. You can read the full bill HERE.

The CARES Act temporarily creates something nonprofits have long sought: a “universal charitable deduction,” also known as an above-the-line” deduction for donations. That means taxpayers can easily claim the deduction on their tax forms without having to go through the extra step of itemizing.

If you, or someone you know can help, please support our school and our students, who need these services.

Here is how you can give:

  • You can text SCHOLARSHIP to 404-491-7724 or click HERE.
  • You can also donate on FACEBOOK. Just click the DONATE button.
  • You can also donate to the Georgia Tax Credit Scholarship, which not only gives us the much needed funds, but you get a dollar for dollar TAX CREDIT on your Georgia Income Taxes. You can read more about that HERE, and pledge and donate HERE
  • Businesses (Both S and C-corps) can participate too, depending on their Georgia Tax Liability, so share with any friends or family who are business owners. More details HERE.
  • You can read more about other Giving methods HERE.

We depend on and appreciate the generosity of donors, parents, grandparents, foundations, and community friends to support annual operating expenses, financial aid, and future growth. It really takes a village! <3

Brookwood Christian School respects your privacy and will never release your contact, check, or credit card information.

Brookwood Christian School is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
TAX ID [EIN]: 20-8499098.


Dyslexia Day at the Capitol 2020

Yesterday, Ms. Kim & Ms. Tammy went to the capitol for Dyslexia Day 2020 and this year they took two students, Will & Krissy. Both students were able to see how the legislative process works, as well as interact with advocates and lobbyists for dyslexia and other special needs students.

In addition to speaking with the leaders at other dyslexia schools, we spoke with other advocates for dyslexia including groups such as Decoding Dyslexia-Georgia and International Dyslexia Association-Georgia Chapter, and Meredith Pope, Mrs. Georgia US Continental, who volunteered her time to read to our students on Dr. Seuss Day last year.

We were also able to speak to Representative Ed Setzler (House District 35) and Senator Lindsey Tippens (Senate District 37), both of whom represent the school’s district and are very supportive of our mission. Senator Tippens is Will’s grandfather! 🙂

There are currently 2 new bills being introduced this legislative term, as well as the possibility of reconsideration of one that did not pass last term. They are briefly summarized here and you can link to our more detailed posts about each of them.

Senate Bill 386 will make it easier to get the Georgia Special needs Scholarship, as well as open up possibility of appeals and more access for those already receiving it or who have been denied a medical waiver.

House Bill 939 will amend HB 217, which raised the cap on the Georgia Tax Credit Scholarship from $58 million, to $100 million. HB 217 has the cap reverting back to $58 million and HB 939 would eliminate that.

Senate Bill 173 is up for reconsideration during this legislative session and would allow parents to use funds earmarked for public education to pay for qualified education expenses, including private school tuition.

Please CONTACT YOUR SENATOR and REPRESENTATIVE and ask them to support these bills so that our families have the financial assistance they need so their children can go to school where they can thrive AND LEARN! Tell them your story if it applies! 

You can read Mellie’s Story in our 2018-2019 Annual Report, and Blake’s Story in our 2017-2018 Annual Report, both are compelling, and the statistics for students who do not get appropriate reading instruction are grim, and outlined in the Progress Reports in both stories. You can also see the statistics regarding the success of our programs HERE.

Left to Right: Senator Lindsey Tippens, Will Resh (student), Kim Wigington (Principal), Krissy Nagel (student), Tammy Urban (Director of Development), and Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan
Left to Right: Krissy Nagel (student), Mrs. Georgia US Continental – Meredith Pope (Dyslexia Advocate), Kim Wigington (Principal), Will Resh (Student), Representative Ed Setzler.


Senate Bill 173 up for Reconsideration

Senate Bill 173 is up for reconsideration during this legislative session. The bill addresses  Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) and was introduced last session and defeated 28-25.

The bill would allow parents to use funds earmarked for public education to pay for qualified education expenses, including private school tuition. This would not be dependent on an IEP or 504, though we are not clear if this could supplement other scholarships or if receiving others, students may not be eligible for this. We will update as we find out.

Bills such as this would greatly benefit so many of our families. Most of our students, 93%, receive some sort of financial assistance, and over 40% receive at least 2 sources of financial assistance. The largest funding source is the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship (SB10) with other sources including: Georgia Tax Credit Scholarship, Easter Seals, and other Foundation Scholarships

Having an additional option for many families would help students receive the services they desperately need without a financial burden on their families.


House Bill 939

Georgia House Bill 939 will keep the cap on Georgia’s Tax Credit Scholarship program at $100 million. House Bill 217 (March 2018) made a cap increase from $58 million to $100 million. However, the bill has the cap returning to $58 million by 2029.

We realize this is not an immediate concern, but we also realize how much this scholarship benefits many of our families, and want to keep it as an option for our younger students who may still be enrolled at that time, as well as future students.

The $58 million cap was first exceeded in 2016 (2015 pledge year), which had the approved pledged amounts diminished to keep the totals under the cap. At that time, the approval rate was 91% of what was pledged. During the 2017 and 2018 cycle, the approval rates were 42% and 55%, respectively.

Last year, 2019, we saw not only a marked increase in pledges (42%) over the previous year, with the cap increase, it generated 146% more scholarship money for our students, many of whom would not be able to attend without this assistance.

The chart below shows how amazing our families are, the increase in pledging support as well as fulfilling their commitment. In each instance where the yellow bar (fulfillment) does not meet the red bar (approved amount), there was an unexpected financial situation that reduced the amount they were able to contribute, which is entirely understandable.

As we are embarking on 15 years of helping students reach their full reading potential (you can see our RESULTS), our ultimate goal is to have no child unable to attend because of his/her family’s financial situation. This scholarship, as well as our fundraising events, are essential for that endeavor. The graph below clearly shows the negative impact the $58 million cap had, where red & yellow were considerably below the blue (pledged amount) for 2017 & 2018.

PLEASE REACH OUT to your Representative and share this information.

Also, the 2020 cap has not been met! You can still help!

Click HERE for MORE INFORMATION and HERE to PLEDGE

#UntilEveryoneCanRead #1in5

Senate Bill 386 to Improve SB10 Scholarship

Senator Renee S. Unterman – R (45th District) has filed a bill that would improve SB10 (Georgia Special Needs Scholarship):

  • making it easier for families to enter the program
    • allowing students with 504 plans to be eligible, 
    • moving the one year requirement back to special needs pre-school,
    • creating a waiver for students adopted from foster care, and

  • would also make it easier for families already in the program
    • would base scholarship on most recent IEP–instead of Oct,
    • would give parents an appeal process, and 
    • would allow students who leave the program to enter back into it without having to repeat the one year!

This would ensure the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship reaches more eligible students by raising awareness for families, cutting red tape, and lowering barriers that frustrate efforts to enroll.

Ms. Noelle will be going to the capitol TOMORROW to tell her story about her daughter, Charlotte, as it will be addressed in committee. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

Many of our families at Brookwood Christian rely on this scholarship to ensure their child receives the services they need, as dyslexia, and many other language processing concerns, are not adequately addressed, if at all, in public school. 

Please CONTACT YOUR SENATOR and ask them to support SB 386 so that all Georgia students with special needs have access to a school where they can thrive, and tell them your story if it applies! 

You can read Mellie’s Story in our 2018-2019 Annual Report, and Blake’s Story in our 2017-2018 Annual Report, both are compelling, and the statistics for students who do not get appropriate reading instruction are grim, and outlined in the Progress Reports in both stories. You can also see the statistics regarding the success of our programs HERE.

Get to Know Families Impacted by Georgia’s Special Needs Scholarship.

If you have any questions, feel free to email Ms. Kim for clarification.

HB 301 Introduced this Week

Georgia HB 301 was introduced into legislation this week by floor leader Jodi Lott-R (District 122).

This bill would allow parents to use state funds in a manner similar to “vouchers” in other states. Students are eligible if they were enrolled in a Georgia public school the year prior to enrolling in private school. This requirement would not apply to groups such as low-income families, the learning disabled or victims of bullying.

The funding would be similar to that of SB10 (Georgia Special Needs Scholarship), the state portion the local school district gets per student, which averages approximately 54 percent of the total when federal and local dollars are included.

Professional organizations such as the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE), oppose this bill claiming that it will “peel away the easiest students to educate” while dismissing the fact that so many students that will be using it are like those attending schools like ours because they were NOT being adequately served. Many of these students are currently receiving funds from SB10 and the Tax Credit Scholarship, which they also oppose. This bill would help families not eligible for SB10, and possibly offer additional support to those who do receive SB10 funds.

Let your legislators know you support this bill  (look up HERE)  and reach out to the bill authors:

Primary Author:  Cantrell, Wes 22nd

Co-Authors
Lott, Jodi 122nd, Governor’s Floor Leader
Fleming, Barry 121st
Stephens, Ron 164th
Gravley, Micah 67th
Harrell, Brett 106th

Source: “K-12 “scholarship” legislation would pay Ga. parents for private school“. Atlanta Journal & Constitution, (02/14/2019)


HB801 proposed changes to GSNS (SB10)

HB801 was filed yesterday by Representative Scott Hilton. This legislation would:

  • give flexibility in how scholarship funds are spent,
  • change the scholarship calculation from the October to the March FTE count,
  • make special needs preschool count towards the one year,
  • give an exemption from the one year for children adopted from foster care,
  • ensure that if you participate in the scholarship, you never have to meet the one year requirement again!

Check it out at this link http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislati…/…/display/20172018/HB/801.