Lets talk about family empowerment scholarship in this article, Florida’s Family Empowerment Scholarship Program was established to reduce the queue for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program while increasing the number of low- and middle-income households who have access to school choice options.
It enables low- and middle-income public school pupils to acquire vouchers for their preferred private schools.
On this page, you can find the latest recent program information, such as eligibility requirements, funding sources, rules, and legal precedent.
Students in grades K through 12 have the opportunity to attend a participating private school under this arm of the scholarship program, which bases eligibility on family income.
Families submit an application through one of the recognized scholarship funding organizations
(SFO), which is in charge of allocating funds to private schools.
In addition, FES EO gives eligible families of students the chance to get a $750 grant to cover transportation costs to a public school other than the one to which the student was assigned.
History of The Family Empowerment Scholarship
A number of modifications to the state’s K12 scholarship programs, including a significant expansion of the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program, were made when Governor DeSantis signed House Bill 7045 into law on May 11, 2021.
The Family Empowerment Scholarship Program was enlarged by House Bill 7045 to include two branches of eligibility:
the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities and the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES EO) (FES UA).
Scholarship for Students with Special Talents: Family Empowerment
The McKay Scholarship Program will now fall under the Unique Abilities section of the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program as of July 1, 2022.
Visit McKay transition to FES: FAQs for details on the transition procedure.
With the help of this division of the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program, parents of children with impairments as young as 3 years old will have access to additional educational opportunities.
Families have two options: they either enroll their child in another public school or take advantage of the chance to receive a personal education savings account (ESA) for their child.
With an ESA, parents are given a deposit of government money into multipurpose savings accounts with restrictions.
Not only may an ESA be used to pay for things like private school tuition and fees, but it can also be used to pay for things like online learning courses, private tutoring, community college costs, higher education prices, and other authorized customized learning products and services.
Through one of the authorized SFOs, which are in charge of establishing eligibility, granting and distributing cash to qualified student accounts, and approving eligible expenditures, families submit applications and yearly renewals for participation in FES UA.
Family Empowerment Scholarship – Funding
It is Florida’s second running voucher scheme, as we have explained. In the Sunshine State, around 54% of families qualify for assistance based on their income.
The maximum value of one of these vouchers is $7,122, which is equivalent to 95% of the cost of tuition and fees for private schools or the per-pupil spending for public schools (whichever is less).
Every three months, parents get payments from the state’s general revenue fund.
Family Empowerment Scholarship – Student Eligibility
If a student is initially eligible, it is determined by whether or not they are previously approved for food assistance, Florida TANF payments, or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).
Families that earn no more than $77,250 for a family of four or 300 percent of the federal poverty line qualify as well. This award is also available to kids in foster care.
Unless their parents are members of the armed forces who have recently relocated to Florida on orders from the military, pupils must be enrolled in a Florida public school the year before they can become eligible in addition to the conditions listed above.
Remember that this rule does not apply to charter schools or state-funded online schools.
Priority is given to pupils from households whose household income does not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty level (currently estimated at $47,638), even though 54% of families qualify.
Once a student receives a Family Empowerment Scholarship, they are ineligible to receive another one until they graduate or turn 21.
The family will still be eligible even if their income has increased.
Additionally, the recipient’s siblings are eligible. Initially, 18,000 students will get scholarships under the program, but this figure is anticipated to rise by around 7,000 per year as more and more children are given the opportunity to benefit from attending a Clearwater, Florida, Christian school.
Family Empowerment Scholarship – Regulations and Rules
- Income Cap: 375 percent of the poverty rate.
- No prior public school experience is necessary.
- State-wide is the region covered.
- 75,573 students are allowed to enroll in 2021–2022; in addition, dependents of active-duty military personnel, children in foster care or adoption, and students from families earning up to 185 percent of the federal poverty line who attended a public school the previous year are exempt from the cap.
- The cap increases by 1 percent of public school enrollment each year.
- Voucher Cap: Unweighted state funding at 100%, less Exceptional Services educational costs.
- Testing Requirements: Nationally standardized tests.
- be given state approval.
- Permit kids who desire a state assessment to take it in their district.
- Fee schedules must be delivered to the department of education at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the quarter.
- submit yearly reports under oath to the state detailing compliance with all local and state health and safety regulations.
- Observe the 42 U.S.C. 2000d statutory nondiscrimination rules.
- Working with scholarship recipients requires teachers and other school staff to submit to federal background checks.
- A bachelor’s degree, three years of classroom experience, or specialized knowledge are requirements for teachers.
- The value of the scholarship payments for one quarter must be covered by a surety bond or letter of credit for schools that have been in operation for less than three years.
- Remind the Florida Department of Education whenever a scholarship recipient leaves a program.
- Annually update parents on the progress of the student.
How to Apply
click here to start your application process