The Florida Department of Education today unanimously approved the renewal of an application from Step Up For Students as an eligible Scholarship Funding Organization, allowing Step Up to continue administering the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program, the Gardiner Scholarship program, the Hope Scholarship program, the Reading Scholarship program and the Family Empowerment Scholarship program for 2020-21.
Step Up For Students, which hosts this blog, served more than 99,700 of Florida’s most economically disadvantaged students on the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program last year. The organization was able to serve 11,458 students with unique abilities on the Gardiner Scholarship and is projecting to serve more than 14,000 in the current year.
Additionally, Step Up served 127 students on the Hope Scholarship and 5,639 students on the Reading Scholarship.
Charitable organizations that seek to be a nonprofit funding organization must submit applications for initial approval or renewal to the Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice no later than Sept. 1 of each year prior to the school year for which the organization intends to offer scholarships. The Office, in consultation with the Florida Department of Revenue and the state’s Chief Financial Officer, reviews applications, and the Commissioner of Education then recommends approval or denial of the application to the Board of Education.
In a separate vote, the Department unanimously approved the renewal application from the AAA Scholarship Foundation to administer the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program, the Gardiner Scholarship program and the Family Empowerment Scholarship program for 2020-21.