According to the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, an ESA provides Florida students with special needs funding the equivalent of 90% of state and local funds that would otherwise have gone to cover a student's public school instruction. Parents can use an ESA to pay for services including tuition, tutoring, and therapy, among other services. To qualify, students must:
- be diagnosed with autism, Down syndrome, Intellectual disability, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Spina-bifida, Williams syndrome or be kindergartners deemed at high risk;
- be residents of Florida; and,
- be eligible to enroll in K through 12th grade.
Florida's Tax Credit Scholarship Program--which grants tax credits to individuals who make contributions to scholarship organizations--will now provide scholarships of $6k (instead of $4.8k) to Florida students of low-income families as well as students in foster care.
Two states certainly does not make for a trend. But, with two states implementing ESAs and with Louisiana's scholarship program as well, the "experiment" of having the tuition $$$s follow the student--to other public, charter, private, or parochial schools--is definitiely underway.
Let the discussion begin...
To read about the Flordia programs, click on the following link:
"Florida Governor Signs Nation's Second ESAs, Expands Tax-Credit Scholarships."