John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program
Florida's John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program allows public school students with disabilities or 504 plans to receive vouchers to attend private schools or other public schools. Vouchers are worth the same amount public schools would have spent on a participating child, though funding may not exceed the private school's tuition and fees. Parents may supplement vouchers with their own money. Students with disabilities who have Individualized Education Plans or a 504 plan and have been enrolled in public school for at least one year are eligible. Section 504 protects qualified individuals with disabilities, defined as persons with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Launched in 1999.
Tax Credit Scholarship Program
Florida provides a tax credit on corporate income taxes and insurance premium taxes for donations to Scholarship Funding Organizations (SFOs), nonprofits that provide scholarships for low-income students and children in foster care and offer funds for transportation to public schools outside a child's district. Businesses get a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for SFO contributions, with total credits capped at $357.8 million. Unused credits can be carried forward to the next fiscal year. Students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch ($44,123 for a family of four in 2014–15) and who either are enrolled in public school or about to enter kindergarten through fifth grade are eligible. Students in foster care also qualify. This program was launched in 2001.
Personal Learning Scholarship Account Program
Florida's Personal Learning Scholarship Account (PLSA) Program allows students with special needs an opportunity to receive an account funded by the state and administered by an approved Scholarship Funding Organization. Parents can use the funds to pay for a variety of educational services, including private school tuition, tutoring, online education, curriculum, therapy, postsecondary educational institutions in Florida, and other defined educational services. The maximum amount for the PLSA is equivalent to 90 percent of the state and local funds reflected in the state funding formula that would have gone to the student had he or she attended public school. This program launched in 2014.