Tallahassee, Fla. â€“ Today, Governor Ron DeSantis and Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran announced that Floridaâ€™s new scholarship program, the Family Empowerment Scholarship, has reached its first-year enrollment cap of 18,000 students. The Family Empowerment Scholarship is geared towards K-12 students from low-income and working-class families and allows students life-changing educational opportunities.
This is Floridaâ€™s largest first-year private school choice program implementation at 18,000 students, surpassing the 15,000 plus students for the first year of Tax Credit Scholarships. The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) has many school choice programs that offer students and their families alternatives to publicly-provided schools, to which students are usually assigned by the location of their family residence.
â€œIâ€™m proud to announce that the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program has attained the highest first-year enrollment for a private choice program,â€� said Governor DeSantis. â€œI fought for the creation of the Family Empowerment Scholarship and signed this bill into law because I heard directly from families on the Tax Credit Scholarship waitlist who want to send their kids to schools that are the best fit for them. The Family Empowerment Scholarship Program expands education opportunities for families with limited financial resources and places our students in environments where they can thrive. I look forward to the continued success of this program.â€�
â€œThere is simply no denying that choice works. The Family Empowerment Scholarship will help thousands of low-income children realize their potential and will continue to give parents the power to do what is best for their children,â€� said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. â€œWe are committed to ensuring every child can go to a great school regardless of their familyâ€™s income. I want to thank Governor Ron DeSantis for his commitment to all Florida students, and signing this important bill into law.â€�
â€œTodayâ€™s news is great for low income and working-class families,â€� said Senator Manny DÃaz, Jr. â€œFor two decades, Florida has been a national leader in educational choice, and we will continue working to ensure every family is given the option that best fits the needs of their child.â€�
â€œI am thrilled that the Family Empowerment Scholarship has capped out in the first year of implementation,â€� said Representative Jennifer Sullivan. â€œIt was an honor to have played a part in creating this important program, and this announcement affirms the fact that school choice is changing lives and Florida is setting the tone to ensure every child in every community receives a world-class education.â€�
Following the 2019 Legislative Session, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 7070, which created the Florida Empowerment Scholarship Program which will provide 18,000 students with life-changing educational opportunities for academic and career success.
The Empowerment Scholarship is administered by the FDOE, with eligible students applying through state-approved nonprofit scholarship organizations. FDOE also oversees the Tax Credit Scholarship, which is administered by the scholarship organizations.
Together, the two programs are projected to serve roughly 120,000 economically disadvantaged students in the 2019-20 school year.
For more information on all of Floridaâ€™s school choice options and the Family Empowerment Scholarship, please visit http://www.fldoe.org/schools/school-choice/k-12-scholarship-programs/fes/.