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Florida’s school choice programs allow parents to choose the best educational setting—public or private—for their child. The McKay Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities provided over 31,000 Florida students with special needs the opportunity to attend a participating private school during the 2018-19 school year. The McKay Scholarship Program also offers parents public school choice. A parent of an eligible special needs student may choose to transfer the student to another public school.
Gardiner & Income Based
Step Up For Students empowers parents to pursue and engage in the most appropriate learning options for their children, with an emphasis on families who lack the information and financial resources to access these options. By pursuing this mission, we help public education fulfill the promise of equal opportunity.
Step Up For Students is a state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organization that helps administer five scholarships for Florida schoolchildren: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC) and the Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) for lower-income families, the Gardiner Scholarship for children with certain special needs, the Hope Scholarship for public school students who are bullied or victims of violence and the Reading Scholarship Accounts for public school students in third through fifth grade who struggle with reading.
Public education is rooted in the promise of equal educational opportunity, and nowhere is that covenant more relevant than in the lives of struggling or disadvantaged children.
These scholarships strengthen public education by offering options to struggling schoolchildren. We consider Step Up For Students a partner of public schools in giving all students the tools toward success. We do this by empowering parents through the scholarship programs so that they might have an equal opportunity to discover educational options that work best for their children.