Tim and Kathy Parks knew for years that their son Chakotay,who has autism, would outgrow traditional public school. They also knew that finding a new school for him -- one that would meet his needs and that they could afford -- would be a challenge.
"We were just desperate to find a place for him to fit in and grow," Tim Parks said. "In Indiana, it makes it very narrow. There aren't very many choices."
Through one of their autism support groups, the Parkses learned about the Independence Academy of Indiana, a small private school that specializes in educating students with high-performing autism and Asperger's syndrome.
The problem was the cost. Tuition is $11,900 a year. "It was so expensive," Parks said, "that we didn't think we could afford it."