The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Advancing Milton and Rose D. Friedman's Vision of School Choice for All Children

Florida - John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program

Enacted as a Pilot Program 1999 • Expanded 2000 • Voucher

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.

Latest Stats (2013-14)

  • Students participating: 27,040
  • Schools participating: 1,226
  • Average voucher value: $6,744 (projected)

Program Details

Student Funding
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.

Student Eligibility
Students with disabilities—who have Individualized Education Plans or a 504 plan—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.

Legal Developments
No legal challenges have been filed against the program.

Rules & Regulations
• Income Limit: None
• Prior Year Public School Requirement: Yes
• Geographic Limit: Statewide
• Enrollment Cap: None
• Voucher Cap: Conditional
• Testing Mandates: None

Governing Statutes
Fla. Stat. §§ 1002.39 and 1002.421

Friedman Contact
Leslie Hiner |

Related Research

10/30/2014 The School Starter Checklist: Meeting the Private Education Regulations in States with School Choice
9/30/2014 The School Voucher Audit: Do Publicly Funded Private School Choice Programs Save Money?
5/30/2014 Public Rules on Private Schools: Measuring the Regulatory Impact of State Statutes and School Choice Programs
4/29/2014 Sector Switchers: Why Catholic Schools Convert to Charters and What Happens Next
6/5/2012 The Greenfield School Revolution and School Choice
2/5/2008 Grading School Choice: Evaluating School Choice Programs by the Friedman Gold Standard
10/1/2005 Using School Choice: Analyzing How Parents Access Educational Freedom
1/1/2003 Grading Vouchers: Ranking America’s School Choice Programs

Related News

9/30/2014 New report shows school vouchers saved $1.7 billion during first two decades
4/29/2014 Study: Catholic schools "switching" to charters serve more students, minorities
3/12/2014 National Review Online | Choosing to Learn
1/23/2014 U.S. voucher, school choice enrollment reaches record high
11/7/2013 Orlando Sentinel | To improve education in Florida, follow the money
8/15/2013 Sharing your story in “The ABCs” can be as easy as one, two, three
1/23/2013 “The ABCs of School Choice,” 2013 Edition, Now Available
9/18/2012 Enlow | Families Want School Choice; N.C. Should Give it to Them
6/5/2012 Limited Choice Doesn’t Support New School Models, Study Finds
10/28/2011 State Impact | OK, Maybe Closing the Achievement Gap is a Big Deal
10/26/2011 New Study: Ohio Poised for Florida-Style Education Gains
4/7/2011 Reed | Follow other states’ lead, support school choice in Oregon
3/2/2011 Ladner | Tenn. Can Learn a Lot From Fla. on Education Reform
2/19/2011 Ladner | Parents should have option to choose nontraditional schools
1/22/2011 Orlando Sentinel | Gov. Rick Scott's school-voucher push faces legal hurdles
7/21/2010 Oklahoma academic performance suffers without widespread reform

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