New Study: Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Students Making Steady Learning Gains
Florida School Choice Program Offers Quality, Affordable Education
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Low-income students participating in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program are making steady learning gains. The findings were released today in the seventh-annual report led by David Figlio of Northwestern University, which looked at student learning during the 2012-2013 school year.
Participants in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program are among the state’s most disadvantaged students and continue to disproportionately come from low-performing schools. But program participants are keeping pace with students nationally, regardless of income level, and gaining a year’s worth of knowledge in a year’s time.
“This study once again proves that all children can and will learn when given the opportunity to attend the school that best fits their needs, ” said Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) CEO Patricia Levesque. “This program gives parents a choice in their child’s education they would be unable to afford otherwise. Yet, unions want to keep students from accessing these opportunities that are clearly working for kids. This program is providing some of our state’s most vulnerable children with a quality, customized education, and sadly we have a power-hungry organization trying to keep it from reaching more families.”
The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program, the largest of its kind nationwide, is expected to serve 67,000 Florida students next year. But tens of thousands of low-income students still sit on waiting lists, hoping to attend private schools chosen by their families. Senate Bill 850, passed by the Florida Legislature this year, recognizes that students benefit from educational choices beyond those traditionally offered and increases access to scholarships for low-income families. It also establishes Florida Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts which offer a more customized education to students with disabilities. Seven Florida parents of students with special needs have filed a motion to intervene on behalf of all parents who would be impacted by the Florida Education Association’s challenge to Senate Bill 850.
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