What You Need to Know About Expanded Eligibility for Florida’s Families

Smiling Kids

Florida now has expanded financial aid opportunities for families who want to have more choices for their children’s education. 

House Bill 1 was signed by Governor DeSantis on Monday, March 27, 2023 and the changes will take effect on July 1, 2023.  We’ve got some additional information on the expansion of this program. 

Previously, education savings accounts (ESAs) had certain income limits and thresholds for families who want to save money for their child’s education. ESAs allow you to save money for tuition and other educational expenses without paying taxes on the money. For example, you could have a certain amount withheld from a paycheck, and that would lower the amount you pay in taxes on the pay.

There were also limits on what some scholarships could be used for.

Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options

Expands eligibility for all K-12 students, regardless of household income.

Converts the scholarships into education savings accounts, or “ESAs” allowing families more flexibility in how they invest in their children’s education.

For families who will use the scholarship for full-time private school tuition and fees, parents/guardians must agree to have their Scholarship Funding Organization, or “SFO,” commit scholarship funds on behalf of their students before using ESA funds for other authorized uses of program funds.  

Creates a new program called the Personalized Education Program, or “PEP”, to serve Florida’s home education population who would like to use state scholarship funds in an education savings account to assist with the educational needs of their Personalized Education Students.

To receive more information about this opportunity, including notification of when it’s time to apply, please click here.

Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities

The program cap has been increased, allowing more students to benefit from a scholarship.  

Scholarship funds may now be used towards the additional following OPTIONAL items:

  • Approved pre-apprenticeship program.
  • Fees for services provided by a Choice Navigator. This is an optional service made available to families. Please visit our Legislative Updates page to learn more.

To receive more information about this opportunity, including notification of when it’s time to apply, please click here

Contact St. Cecelia for More Information

We hope you’re encouraged by this news! If you have any questions about how this might affect you and your family, please contact us or call (727) 461-1200 for more information!

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