Research & Reports

Research Highlights
Step Up For Students Scholarship Results

The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and the Family Empowerment Scholarship programs are the largest private school scholarship programs of their kind in the United States. This year, Step Up will serve more than 150,000 students throughout the state of Florida.

Florida Private School and Transportation Scholarships

2021-22 Fast Facts:

85,510 students enrolled on the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC)
78,220 students enrolled on Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES-EO)
212 students attended a public school other than the one that they were assigned with the help from a transportation scholarhip

Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities

2021-22 Fast Facts:

5,220 funded scholarship students
Average scholarship about $10,000
More than $200 million in funded scholarships

Hope Scholarship

2021-22 Fast Facts:

238 students funded in 2021-22
97 funded from new COVID-19 rule
452 students enrolled in 2020-21

New World’s Reading scholarship

2021-22 Fast Facts:

1,608 students found eligible so far
3,496 students funded in 2020-21
$500 scholarship

Step Up For Students Financial Reports

Financial Audits

The state of Florida requires each Scholarship Funding Organization (SFO) to submit a financial and compliance audit performed by an independent certified public accountant each year. The report is submitted to the Auditor General and the Department of Education.

View Financial Audits

Auditor General Operational Audits

As of 2014, Section 11.45(2)(k), Florida Statutes requires the Auditor General to annually conduct an operational audit of the accounts and records of eligible nonprofit scholarship funding organizations.

View Auditor General Operational Audits

IRS Form 990

The Internal Revenue Service requires that each 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation file a statement of finances each year, known as Form 990. In previous years, the corporate name under which Step Up For Students operated was the Florida School Choice Fund.

View IRS Form 990

School Financial Reports

In 2010, the State Legislature required that every school receiving more than $250,000 in any given year hire an independent Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to file a financial report by Sept. 15. The report, formally called Agreed Upon Procedures, is intended to ensure that the money is used for education-related expenses.

Agreed Upon Procedures

AUP Report to Department of Education

Educational Choice in Florida

Education choice isn’t just about charter schools or private schools anymore. Education choice is about giving parents a variety of options for their children and that’s where Florida excels.

Today, 1.7 million students in Florida attend schools of choice. Most students select from choice programs in their local school district including open enrollment, magnet schools, International Bachelorette programs and career and professional academies. Of these students 1.2 million are choosing options financed by taxpayers or corporate donors.

Scholarship programs run by Step Up For Students, such as the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, Hope Scholarship, Reading Scholarship, and the Family Empowerment Scholarship, constitute a small but vibrant part of Florida’s changing education landscape.

The Florida Pre-K Through 12 Education Landscape

309,730
Students in 658 Charter Schools privately operated under contract with districts.
273,377
Students in Open Enrollment in 53 school districts.
248,199
Students in Choice and Magnet programs at district schools.
237,290
Students in 2,689 Private Schools.
145,373
Students in Career and Professional Academies at 579 high schools.
133,870
Students awarded private PreKindergarten Scholarships for 4-year-olds.
104,091
Students awarded Tax Credit Scholarships for lower-income students at 1,825 private schools.
91,596
Students in Home Education while reporting results to districts.
55,119
Students in Advanced International Certificate programs for 11th and 12th graders.
36,331*
Students awarded McKay Scholarships for special-needs students (30,695 in 1,525 private schools and 5,636 in district schools).
13,884
Students awarded Gardiner Scholarships for special-needs students.
13,575
Students in International Baccalaureate at district schools.
11,175
Students in full-time Virtual Instruction.
7,319
Students in Lab Schools run by five universities.
3,949
Students in School Transfers related to state or federal performance thresholds.
=1,684,878
Students at High Schools of Their Choice

Source:

2018-19 Florida Department of Education data.

*The 2018-19 changing landscape cannot be compared with past years due to changes in Survey data.

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