The nation’s largest private school choice program provides dozens of additional school options to children living in Florida’s charter school deserts.
A recent report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found the Sunshine State is home to 20 areas where three or more contiguous Census tracts have more than 20 percent of the population living below the poverty level, and no charter schools that serve the elementary grades.
Step Up For Students, which publishes this blog and helps administer Florida’s tax credit scholarship program, built on that analysis. We found dozens of private schools in those areas that accept the scholarships, which help low-income and working-class people pay tuition. Both Fordham’s and Step Up’s analyses rely on visual inspections of maps and school locations.
The power of private school choice to complement charters and other public-school options may be most pronounced in the western part of Orlando. It’s home to two ZIP codes where a staggering 2,357 children use tax credit scholarships to pay private school tuition.