In 2001, the Florida Legislature created the income-based Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program to assure that low-income children have more learning options. In May 2019, nearly 20 years later, the Family Empowerment Scholarship was created by the Florida Legislature to further help low-income children.
Both scholarships are based on financial need not how well your child does in school. The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC) allows families to choose between financial assistance toward private school tuition and fees, or with transportation costs to attend a public school in another district. The Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) may only be used towards private school tuition and fees.
The Gardiner Scholarship program helps parents individualize the educational plans for their children with certain special needs was named the Gardiner Scholarship in January of 2016. The name honors Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner, who led the legislative effort to create the program, and his family. Gardiner and his wife Camille have championed the cause of children with unique abilities for many years. The Gardiners have two daughters and a son, Andrew, who has Down syndrome.
A different kind of scholarship: The Gardiner Scholarship is different than other state scholarships in that it allows parents to personalize the education of their children with unique abilities by directing money toward a combination of programs and approved providers. These include schools, therapists, specialists, curriculum, technology – even a college savings account.
Florida’s John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program was enacted and launched in 1999, making it the nation’s first school voucher program for students with special needs. The Florida legislature expanded the program in 2000. Learn more about the most up-to-date program details on the link above, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.
The AAA Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships solely to qualifying low-income, disabled and/or displaced students. The typical AAA Scholarship student is an ethnic minority living with a struggling single parent/caregiver in a high crime community. More than 85 percent of AAA scholarships are distributed to children at or below 185 percent of poverty. Many children are either below grade level, failing at their previous school or both when they receive a scholarship. Parents, who find their children in these circumstances and are concerned about their future, look for viable options. They seek an atmosphere that challenges their child and will reverse inadequate learning, social patterns and the potential lifelong negative impact. They wish to change their child’s learning environment, acquaintances and the unfortunate predictable outcomes associated with school failure.
A student who has experienced and reported an incident of battery, harassment, hazing, bullying, kidnapping, physical attack, sexual offenses, threat or intimidation, or fighting at school will be given the opportunity to enroll in another public school that has capacity or the ability to request and receive a scholarship to attend an eligible private school.
A qualifying incident, as seen above, must have taken place at a K-12 public school, any school related or school-sponsored program or activity, riding the bus or waiting at the bus stop..