Florida’s Personal Learning Scholarship Account Program was enacted and launched in 2014. The program utilizes education savings accounts to help parents of students with special needs customize their education. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history, and more.
Florida’s Personal Learning Scholarship Account (PLSA) program provides parents funds to pay for a variety of educational services for their children, including private school tuition, tutoring, online education, curriculum, therapy, post-secondary 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.
Students qualify if they reside in Florida and are eligible to enroll in kindergarten through 12th grade. They must have an Individualized Education Plan or have been diagnosed with one of the following: autism, Down syndrome, an intellectual disability, Prader-Willi syndrome, spina-bifida, or Williams syndrome, or be kindergartners who are considered high-risk.
In December 2014, a judge dismissed the Florida Education Association’s (FEA) lawsuit challenging Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program and Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts program. The original lawsuit was filed by the FEA to challenge a newly enacted law that includes an education savings account (ESA) for students with special needs—called the Personal Learning Scholarship Account—along with an expansion of the existing Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The FEA contends the law violates a state constitutional requirement that each piece of legislation be limited to a single subject. In September 2014, a Florida judge dismissed the original FEA lawsuit after finding that the plaintiff did not have legal standing to sue. The FEA filed an amended complaint and added new plaintiffs to a lawsuit. The amended complaint contends public schools have lost funding because of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, and that the law containing the school choice programs violates a state constitutional requirement that each piece of legislation be limited to a single subject. On December 30, 2014, the judge dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds the new plaintiffs did not have standing to sue.