/MyChoicesinEdFL


@MyChoicesinEdFL

Private school and alternate public school options can offer a variety of benefits for students and families that need something different to be successful. We believe all students should have the opportunity to find a school that best fit their unique learning needs. Florida is the nation’s leader in providing quality educational choices to families and their students. Each year, Florida’s education choice scholarship programs have grown to meet parent demand.

Read on for information about each of Florida’s educational opportunity programs.

Family Empowerment Scholarship Program

Established in 2019, the Family Empowerment Scholarship program allows low and middle-income students to receive a publicly funded scholarship to attend a participating private school.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Families must meet certain household family income requirements (e.g. less than 300 percent of poverty).
Household Size Income Limit
2 $50,730
3 $63,990
4 $77,250
5 $90,510
6 $103,770
  • Students must also have been in the public school system in the prior year or be an entering kindergartener.
  • There is a waitlist for this program.
  • Administered by a Scholarship Funding Organization
  • Average scholarship:
    • Grades K-3 - $7,250.47
    • Grades 4-8 - $6,775.32
    • Grades 9-12 - $6,795.12

Take the survey to find out if your family may be eligible.

Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship Program

Established in 2001, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program allows families who meet certain income eligibility requirements (earning less than 260% of poverty) to choose a participating private school.

  • Serves students from low-income families
  • Can serve students who have never attended a public school
  • There is a waitlist for this program
  • Administered by a Scholarship Funding Organization
  • 104,091 students received scholarship during 2018-19 school year
  • Average scholarship – $7,112

Gardiner Scholarship Program

Established in 2014, the Gardiner Scholarship Program allows families to customize their children’s education by paying for multiple educational services, including private school tuition, tutoring, specialized services like occupational therapy or speech therapy, instructional materials and more.

  • Serves students with special needs
  • Can serve students who have never attended a public school
  • There is a waitlist for this program
  • Administered by a Scholarship Funding Organization
  • 11,917 students received scholarship during 2018-19 school year
  • Average scholarship – $10,418

Hope Scholarship Program

Established in 2016, the Hope Scholarship program allows students who have been bullied or harassed in their public school to choose a participating private school.

  • Serves students who are victims of bullying/violence
  • Requires a prior year of public school enrollment
  • Administered by a Scholarship Funding Organization
  • 125 students received scholarship during 2018-19 school year

John M. McKay Scholarship Program

Established in 1999, the McKay scholarship program allows any student with special needs who has an Individual Education Plan a Section 504 plan to choose a participating private school or a public school of their choice.

  • Serves students with special needs
  • Requires a prior year of public school enrollment
  • Administered by the Florida Department of Education
  • 30,695 students received scholarship during 2018-19 school year
  • Average scholarship – IEP - $8,262; 504 Plan - $4,626

Reading Scholarship Account Program

Established in 2017, the Reading Scholarship Account program reimburses parents for eligible expenses like tutoring and instructional materials, to help their child develop strong reading skills.

The program is available to certain public school students who are struggling in reading scored a Level 1 or 2 on the statewide reading test in third or fourth grade.

  • Serves students who are struggling to read on grade level
  • Does require public school enrollment
  • Administered by a Scholarship Funding Organization
  • 5,639 students received scholarship during 2018-19 school year
  • Average scholarship – $500

Opportunity Scholarship Program

The Opportunity Scholarship program is available to students who are zoned to attend or has spent the current school year in attendance at a failing public school.

A student is entitled to select any higher-performing public school– a school graded A, B or C – in their school district. The school district is required to make space for the student and to provide transportation to the school.

The student's parent may request and receive from the state an Opportunity Scholarship for the student to enroll in and attend a higher performing public school if:

  • By assigned school attendance area or by special assignment, student spent the prior school year in attendance at a public school that has been designated as earning a grade "F" or three consecutive "Ds" as based on the statewide assessments conducted pursuant to Section. 1008.22, Florida Statutes.
  • The student has been in attendance elsewhere in the public school system and has been assigned to such school for the next school year; or
  • The student has been assigned to such school for the next school year.
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