New Report: Florida's Voucher and Scholarship Programs Largest in Nation


By: Lanetra Bennett
April 7, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - A new report shows Florida's voucher programs are the largest in the nation.

The Alliance for School Choice says the 2012 - 2013 school year saw the largest single-year private school choice enrollment growth in American history.

It says Florida leads the pack, with more students getting vouchers and scholarships than any other state.

According to the organization, more than 309,000 students in 14 states attend private schools with the help of state-subsidized vouchers and scholarships.

Joanne Paul, the vice president of Florida Education Association, says, "The legislature should fund public schools appropriately. We shouldn't be worrying about giving public dollars to private companies. A voucher doesn't necessarily make those schools better. It just takes students away and then you still have students remaining."

Supporters of vouchers say families need the freedom to attend schools that meet their needs.


Press Release: Foundation for Excellence in Education

Today, The Alliance for School Choice released their latest Yearbook, School Choice Now: The Power of Educational Choice. It includes a collection of the national data on private school choice programs across the country, with an analysis of educational choice trends and information, a directory of the accountability provisions and requirements for each of the nation’s 32 private school choice programs, and a chronicle of the past year’s events.

The 2012-2013 school year saw the largest single-year private school choice enrollment growth in American history.

And Florida leads the pack, with more students getting a quality education through vouchers and scholarships than any other state in the nation.

The yearbook reaffirms ExcelinEd’s guiding principle that all students can and will learn if given the right opportunities. Our policy and advocacy team members are working with state leaders who also share a common goal of pursuing school choice policies. And now, states across the nation—from Florida, Louisiana, Wisconsin, to Arizona—are expanding programs that give our most vulnerable kids a chance at a quality education.

Families need the financial freedom to attend schools that meet their needs. There’s never an excuse for our children who are the furthest behind to have no way out and become trapped in the worst schools.

Charter schools, scholarships for low-income and disabled students, virtual schools and education savings accounts are providing these paths towards providing every child a chance at success.

Click here to download a copy of the School Choice Yearbook and read below to see how Florida is leading the nation in scholarship and voucher enrollment.

Best,

Patricia Levesque
Foundation for Excellence in Education

The Alliance for School Choice Yearbook Highlights

Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program=
Largest in the Nation

Florida leads the pack, with the largest scholarship enrollment growth in the nation. In the 2012-2013 school year, The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program expanded to provide more kids a chance at quality education and 50,821 scholarships were awarded. The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship allows corporations to reduce their tax bill by contributing to K-12 scholarships for students in low-income families. The program expanded the statewide cap on donations by $10.25 million, expanded student eligibility by eliminating the public school attendance requirement for students in grades 2-5, and expanded accountability requirements by allowing schools to administer the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

Click here to read Florida’s overview in the yearbook

Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program=
First in the nation to implement Education Savings Accounts

Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program expanded student eligibility from just special needs students to include students attending D- or F-rated public schools, students of military personnel, and foster care children. This first-in-the nation school choice program provides direct account control to parents via restricted-use debit cards loaded with approximately 90 percent of what the state reserved for their children in the public school system. In the 2012-2013 school year, 302 accounts were awarded and 51 schools participated.

Click here to read Arizona’s overview in the yearbook

Florida’s McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities=
Largest in the Nation

Florida’s John M. McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program awarded 25,366 scholarships in the 2012-2013 school year, more than any other voucher program in the nation. The McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities provides more choices to Florida’s most vulnerable students.

Click here to read Florida’s overview in the yearbook

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SCHOOL CHOICE YEARBOOK

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The Foundation for Excellence in Education is igniting a movement of reform, state by state, to transform education for the 21st century economy by working with lawmakers, policymakers, educators and parents to advance education reform across America. Learn more at www.ExcelinEd.org.


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