Have you heard about Florida's NEW scholarship opportunity, the Personalized Education Program (PEP)? PEP is designed exclusively for students in grades K-12 and give every student access of $7,000 up to $32,000 for school choice.
The categories of education today are broader than ever. Thanks to HB1 (2023) the scholarship opportunities are growing as well! Scholarships and funding are available to many more Florida families beginning July 1st 2023. Read below to learn more about the types of education, scholarship funding available, and some state requirements for each one!
Plus, check out Step Up for Students to learn more about all of the information shared here!
You Have Options for Education
This is the traditional education choice. Typically organized by area, you can also request a different school than the one assigned (like with Public Magnet Schools). Schools are funded by taxes and are free to attend. State standardized testing is a requirement.
Public Charter Schools
Tax-funded, just like public schools, charter schools are provided more freedom to change and emphasize curriculum to address community needs. Students must still participate in state standardized tests. Florida has over 720 charter schools. Read the charter for each school to learn their specific mission and purpose.
Public Magnet School
This is another sub-set of public schools. Tax-funded, and therefore free, Public Magnet Schools focus on a specific thing (Art, ROTC, business, etc.) and allow students to attend who would normally be outside the school's boundaries. The other subjects at the school are often taught by connecting to the school's main subject. State standardized testing is a requirement.
Traditional or non-traditional.
Students can be enrolled full-time, part-time, or some other hybrid combination with a virtual school. In Florida, any student can be enrolled in Florida Virtual School (FLVS) for free. Online learning is often the combination for hybrid students and Public school districts often offer hybrid options. If they are connected to Public School districts, prices are often free or low-cost. Virtual schools can be local, national or even international programs. State standardized testing depends on the school and the student's classification as a homeschool, private, or public school student.
Traditional or non-traditional.
Not part of the public school system, tuition is required for private schools but they still can accept scholarships like the FTC and FEC. This also means that they are not as restricted by public school requirements, often catering to community needs (like public charter schools) with religious schools and special education schools. The use of state standardized testing depends on the school.
Parents are in charge of educating their children in their homes or through a custom combination of programs. Homeschooling families often work together to create co-ops, groups, and broader opportunities for some of the week. State standardized testing is optional. The cost of homeschooling varies but FEC and FTC scholarships are available.
Check out this blog post for more options on what homeschooling can look like.
Non-traditional. Microschools come in endless varieties. The main factors of a microschool involve small group-based learning. Ranging from a group of homeschoolers to small private schools, microschooling makes sure to cater education to the individual student. FEC and FTC funding is available to Microschools through the recent passing of HB1 (2023). (Learn more at Step Up for Students.) State standardized testing is optional for most varieties of microschools.
Check out this blog post to read more on what a microschool is.
Check out the Microschool Florida directory to discover non-traditional education options near you!
You Have Options for Scholarships
The list below has been taken from the Step Up for Students "Scholarships" page.
Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (PEP - Personalized Education Program)
"Give your child access to the education that best meets their needs. These scholarships provide financial assistance for private school tuition and related costs, public school transportation and more."
"Available to Florida residents, regardless of household income, who are eligible to attend a K-12 public school.*
The scholarship will first pay for the cost of private school tuition and related fees or public school transportation.
$7,700 average amount awarded for private school or homeschool/microschool scholarships for the school year
$750 minimum awarded for transportation scholarships
Florida students who are not full-time private nor full-time public school students now have access to the Personalized Education Program (PEP) through the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program."
Learn more at Step Up for Students.
Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (PEP - Transportation)
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