Florida created the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship in 2001 to give low-income students one learning option that is not available to them because of their financial circumstances. It allows them to consider whether a private school might be a better fit academically.
Step Up for Students served 80,664 students in 2,048 private schools throughout the state during the 2022-23 school year, and the mix is truly eclectic. The schools that have chosen to join the cause of helping underprivileged students run the gamut – everything from the six-student Walden Middle School in Gulfport to the 1,512-student Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School in Fort Lauderdale. The average school has 56 scholarship students.
Is black or Hispanic: Some 27 percent of students are black and 38 percent Hispanic. Roughly 29 percent are white and another 6 percent identify as multi-racial or other.
Lives with one parent: Fort-three percent of the scholarship children are from single-parent households.
Has struggled academically: A state-commissioned researcher has determined that scholarship students “tend to be among the lowest-performing students in their prior school, regardless of the performance level of their public school.”
More low-income students are choosing this option