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Gardening Lesson

School Choice Funding


As a parent, you have a few options for school choice:

  1. Public School

  2. Private School

  3. FLVS

  4. Homeschool & Dual Enrollment

    • No standard test needed​​

    • Must register with county and show progression each years through an evaluation

    • Free dual enrollment & books

    • Ability to utilize public school sports, arts, and programs.

  5. ESAs (School Choice Scholarships) - In a significant win for thousands of parents and their children, the Florida Legislature passed a universal school choice bill on March 23, 2023. The legislation will create an Education Savings Account (ESA)-style program that provides families with funds to pay for education. Florida’s bill gives parents $8,000 to use for expenses such as private school tuition, tutoring, textbooks, and even homeschooling.

    • $7k and up per student to be used for private or homeschool options​​

    • Covers sports, STEM and more

    • Standardized Test Required Annually

    • FLVS & Dual Enrollment comes out of award amount


Florida provides a variety of school choice options, including six scholarship programs. These programs allow parents unprecedented choice among public and private schools.

Family Empowerment Scholarship

Florida Tax Credit Scholarship

Hope Scholarship Program

New Worlds Reading Scholarship Accounts

Opportunity Scholarship

File a complaint against a scholarship participating private school.

Scholarship Funding Organizations

Family Empowerment Scholarship Program

What is the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program?

The Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) Program is a state of Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) school choice program. On March 27, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law House Bill (HB) 1, which expands available school choice options for all students in Florida. As of the 2023-24 school year, the bill eliminates financial eligibility restrictions and the current enrollment cap for the Family Empowerment Scholarship Educational Options. HB 1 also increases the annual scholarship cap growth for the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities from one percent to three percent annually to address high demand and wait lists.

Family Empowerment Scholarship Programs

Select an FES program below to learn more.

How do I apply?

Private school option – to apply, please contact one of the following nonprofit Scholarship Funding Organizations (SFO):

Need a copy of an IEP?

Contact Broward Schools

Use a laptop or desktop rather than any other device to access EMA. Step Up Suggest Google Chrome.

Some tips from our friends at Colossal Academy:

  • If you are having trouble accessing EMA due to heavy site traffic, try using Chrome incognito mode and access the site using this link.

  • If you chose “Add Student” for a child who is a renewal or waitlist, and the child is now showing as  in the system, go to “My Students” --> “View” --> “Edit” and change the child’s birthdate to 01/01/99 it will make the child inactive. OR, contact Step Up to completely remove the student from the system. [Only delete the duplicate that says “NEW”]. Keep in mind that renewal and waitlist students need to be found and activated in the system BEFORE starting the actual applications for each child.

  • We recommend starting first with the FES-UA renewal application, followed by FTC/FES- EO educational options.

  • You can submit more than one application per child, you cannot accept both awards and will have to contact Step Up to inform them of your scholarship choice.

  • If you submitted the application and still need to add documentation (e.g. an updated diagnosis letter or a personal statement), please fax Step Up at 904-592-6548 You will need to include the Student ID# on all pages. Remember to add ALL students before submitting your application. If you need to add a child to an application that has already been submitted, please complete this form or e-mail to receive a ticket (you can contact them to help resolve other issues as well).

  • Siblings of unique abilities students need to be renewed under the Private School Scholarship, NOT the FES-UA Scholarship. If the sibling was eligible for the income-based last year because of an FES-UA sibling, you will need the student ID of the FES-UA applicant (found on the dashboard) to complete the private school application. (This does not apply for a sibling of a waitlist FES-UA).

  • To find out if you’ve been awarded after submitting your application, please click “my students” then “view” next to the student’s name, and scroll to the bottom of the screen to access the award ID

  • Use the attached video links to guide you:

Here is the estimated amounts to assist families and schools in planning their budgets for the upcoming year. Though the exact scholarship values are subject to change until Governor DeSantis signs the budget, below are a projection of the available amounts:



Basic Scholarship Amounts for 2023-24

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