Florida ESA Program Runs Out of Funding Because of Huge Demand
School Choice Weekly #203
Florida’s education savings account (ESA) program for special needs students doesn’t have enough funding for all the families who want to participate:
Roughly 10,150 students are receiving Gardiner Scholarships this school year. That means the program has exhausted all the available funding for scholarships for the first time since its creation in 2014.
An additional 1,270 students have been approved for funding, but have not been able to receive it. That’s according to figures from Step Up For Students, the largest nonprofit organization that helps administer the program.
“We have definitely exhausted every last dollar, every last penny,” said Gina Lynch, Step Up’s Vice President of Operations. “There is healthy demand for the program.” The program allows families to pay for a wide range of education-related expenses, from therapy and homeschool curriculum to public school courses and private school tuition, for qualifying children with special needs.
No child, least of all a special needs student, should be denied the type of education he or she wants. Universally accessible ESAs would ensure all families have access to the type of education they need, and no child would have to do without. The question is: What are we waiting for?
IN THIS ISSUE:
School Choice Roundup
- TED CRUZ: Sen. Ted Cruz is pushing for school choice in Washington, D.C.
- VIDEO CONTEST: Voting is open now for a national school choice success story video contest.
- NEW MEXICO: New Mexico’s education secretary calls school choice “quintessentially American.”
- FLORIDA: A debate over reforming its voucher program is swirling in Florida.
Common Core and Curriculum Watch
- LITERACY: Several states’ literacy levels are dismal, a new study finds.
- DOGS: Baltimore students are practicing reading with dogs to boost their confidence.
- ESSA: Many states’ ESSA programs are incomplete or poorly planned, a new report says.
- MICHIGAN: Some 15 percent of Michigan students were chronically absent last year.
- BULLYING: Celebrities come to the defense of a student whose viral video sparks a national conversation about school bullying.
- UNION DUES: The Trump administration urges the U.S. Supreme Court to rule against forced union dues.