Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs into law new education savings account program and expands tax credit scholarship program

Washington, D.C. (June 20, 2014) – The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, applauds Gov. Rick Scott for signing SB 850, which expands the state’s highly successful scholarship tax credit  program and creates education savings accounts (ESA) for special needs students, the second program of its kind in the nation.

“Florida continues to be a national leader  in  efforts to empower parents, challenge the status quo and offer children a broad array of  quality educational options,” said Betsy DeVos, chairman of the American Federation for Children. “Every child learns in a unique way, and the expansion of the state’s scholarship tax credit program and the new, innovative ESA program for special needs children will greatly enhance the lives of thousands of children.”

This new law creates Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts (PLSAs), which allow parents of special needs children to use state funding for educational uses including private school tuition, tutoring and specialized therapy. Similar to Arizona’s Education Savings Account program, PLSAs will provide further assistance and additional educational options to special needs students so their individual learning needs can be met.

Florida currently has the nation’s largest scholarship tax credit program which served 60,000 children from low-income families last school year. With this latest expansion they will be able to provide thousands of additional children scholarships to attend the private school of their parents’ choice. Other improvements to the program include raising the scholarship amount for each student, waiving the requirement that students attend public school for one year to qualify and creating the opportunity for some students to receive partial scholarships.

For more information on Florida’s school choice programs, visit: http://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/.

 

-30-

The American Federation for Children is the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.