Florida

Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program

  • Tax-Credit Scholarship
  • Enacted 2001
  • Launched 2001

Florida offers a tax credit on corporate income taxes and insurance premium taxes for donations to scholarship-funding organizations (SFOs), nonprofits that provide private schools scholarships for low-income students and children in foster care. Learn more about it on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.

We do not administer this program.

  • 85,030

    Participating Students (2021-22)

  • 62%

    of Families with Children Income-eligible Statewide

  • 2

    Scholarship Organizations (2020–21)

  • 1,972

    Participating Schools (2020–21)

  • $6,684

    Average Scholarship Value (projected 2021–22)

  • 65%

    Value as a Percentage of Public School Per-student Spending

Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program Participation

Students Participating
School Year Ending

Student Funding

Scholarships can be worth up to the state’s unweighted Fulltime Equivalency (FTE) funding (less the Exceptional Services Education expenses), though they may not exceed private school tuition and fees. This maximum scholarship amount was $9,979 in 2021–22, but most students received awards averaging around $6,684. Transportation grants for students attending out-of-district public schools are worth up to $750.

Student Eligibility

Students in households earning up to 375 percent of the federal poverty level ($104,063 for a family of four in 2022-23) are eligible for scholarships. Students who qualify under 200 percent of poverty ($55,500 for a family of four) are eligible for full scholarships worth up to $9,979. First priority is given to renewal students and to new students eligible for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program ($51,338 for a family of four in 2022-23). Siblings of current scholarship recipients who live in the same household are also eligible. Additionally, students placed in foster care or out-of-home care, as well as dependents of active-duty military, are able to apply for a scholarship at any time.

EdChoice Expert Feedback

Florida’s tax-credit scholarship program—the largest choice program in the nation—helps more than a hundred thousand low-income students access schools that are the right fit for them, but policymakers could do more to expand educational opportunity.

Eligibility for the scholarships is limited to 375 percent of the federal poverty line, with preference given to lower-income families. Roughly two-thirds of Florida families have at least one student eligible to receive a scholarship. Statewide, less than 10 percent of students participate in one of Florida’s private educational choice options (including the Family Empowerment Scholarship (Educational Opportunity Voucher) Program, the Hope Scholarships Program, and the Family Empowerment Scholarship (Unique Abilities ESA) Program). This is the second highest EdChoice share in the nation.

The average scholarship size is about $6,684, which is about 61 percent of the average expenditure per student at Florida’s district schools. Tax credits are worth 100 percent of the value of the contributions to scholarship organizations. percent of Florida’s total K–12 revenue. The tax credit cap automatically increases by 25 percent each year if at least 90 percent of the cap was reached in the previous year.

In order to expand access to educational choice, Florida policymakers have created the publicly funded Family Empowerment Scholarships Program to serve students who were on the scholarship waitlist.

Florida’s scholarship program generally avoids unnecessary and counterproductive regulations.

Rules and Regulations

  • Income Limit: 375 percent x Poverty 
  • Prior Year Public School Requirement: None 
  • Geographic Limit: Statewide 
  • Enrollment Cap: None 
  • Scholarship Cap: $9,979  
  • Testing Mandates:  Nationally norm-referenced tests or State test 
  • Credit Value: 100 percent 
  • Total Tax Credit Cap: Yes 
  • Budget Cap: $873.6 million (escalator) 

School Requirements: 

  • Be approved by the state 
  • Submit to the state annual sworn compliance reports regarding all local and state health and safety codes 
  • Comply with federal nondiscrimination requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 2000(d) 
  • Teachers and other school personnel working with scholarship students must undergo federal background checks 
  • Teachers must have a bachelor’s degree, three years of teaching experience, or special expertise 
  • Schools in operation fewer than three years must obtain a surety bond or letter of credit to cover the value of the scholarship payments for one quarter 
  • Meet state and local health, safety and welfare laws; codes and rules 
  • Any school receiving more than $250,000 in scholarship money must provide independent financial reporting to the state 
  • Scholarship students must take a nationally recognized norm-referenced test or the state public school assessment. All schools with at least 30 students in grades 3–10 in two or more consecutive years will have standardized test score gains analyzed by state researchers.  
    • Beginning in 2019–20, all new scholarship schools must receive a satisfactory inspection from the Florida Department of Education  

Governing Statutes

Fla. Stat. §§ 1002.395 and 1002.421

Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program State Groups

That Support School Choice

ExcelinEd supports state leaders in transforming education to unlock opportunity and lifelong success for each and every child through their policy work.

Step Up For Students is a state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organization that helps administer five scholarships for Florida schoolchildren: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC) and the Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) for lower-income families, the Gardiner Scholarship for children with certain special needs, the Hope Scholarship for public school students who are bullied or victims of violence and the Reading Scholarship Accounts for public school students in third through fifth grade who struggle with reading.