Policy Map

Florida

School Choice Policy

Charter School Choice

Do state statutes allow for charter schools?

Are for-profit charters allowed?

No:

Charter school shall organize as, or be operated by, a nonprofit organization.

1002.33(12)(i): Employees of charter schools

Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?

Did not find:

We did not find information about caps on charter schools in Florida statutes. However, Education Commission of the States states that Florida does not have caps on charters.

Education Commission of the States 50-State Comparison

Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?

Yes:

Transportation of charter school students shall be provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45.

1002.33(20)(c): Services

Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?

Yes:

Teachers employed or under contract shall be certified but charters can employ/contract non-certified personnel to provide instructional services or to assist instructional staff members as education paraprofessionals.

1002.33(12)(f): Employees of charter schools

Virtual School Choice

Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?

Yes:

Florida statutes allow for virtual schools, virtual charters, and the Florida Virtual School.

1002.321(4)(a-d): Digital learning.

Are virtual schools required to track attendance?

Did not find

Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?

Did not find

Private School Choice

Do state statutes allow for voucher programs?

Yes:

Florida statutes allow for two voucher programs: Family Empowerment Scholarship (1002.394) and The John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program (1002.39).

Family Empowerment Scholarship: 1002.394
John M. McKay Scholarship: 1002.39

Do state statutes allow for educational expense tax credits or deductions?

No:

No educational expense tax credits or deductions found.

EdChoice School Choice in America

Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?

Yes:

Florida law states that "A private school may be a parochial, religious, denominational, for-profit, or nonprofit school." Private schools participating in state school choice scholarship programs must abide by the laws outlined in 1002.421: State school choice scholarship program accountability and oversight. This law does not state that state school choice scholarship schools must be nonsectarian.

1002.01(2): Definitions
1002.421: State school choice scholarship program accountability and oversight.

Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?

Did not find

Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?

Unclear:

Family Empowerment Scholarship: A private school must "annually administer or make provision for students participating in the program in grades 3 through 10 to take one of the nationally norm-referenced tests identified by the department or to take the statewide assessments pursuant to s. 1008.22. Students with disabilities for whom standardized testing is not appropriate are exempt from this requirement."

John M. McKay Scholarship: No, if a parent wishes to have their student take standardized statewide tests, the parent is responsible for transporting their student to a testing location.

Family Empowerment Scholarship: 1002.394.(8)(c)1
John M. McKay Scholarship: 1002.39(8)(e)

Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?

Unclear:

Family Empowerment Scholarship: "If a private school fails to meet the requirements of this subsection or s. 1002.421, the commissioner may determine that the private school is ineligible to participate in the scholarship program."

1002.394.(8)

Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?

Did not find

Interdistrict School Choice

Do state statutes allow for interdistrict choice?

Yes:

"Each district school board or charter school shall allow a parent from any school district in the state whose child is not subject to a current expulsion or suspension to enroll his or her child in and transport his or her child to any public school, including charter schools..."

1002.31(2)(a): Controlled open enrollment; public school parental choice

Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?

No:

A school district or charter school may provide transportation to students described under this section.

1002.31(2)(a): Controlled open enrollment; public school parental choice

Page last updated: January 2020

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