podcastED: Interview with a scholarship parent who became eligible under Florida’s 2021 school choice expansion

Megan and Jameson Luten and their children, Patrick, Ellie and Julia

On this episode, reimaginED Senior Writer Lisa Buie talks with Megan Luten, a mother of three from Jacksonville, Florida, whose 5-year-old daughter, Ellie, attends Catholic kindergarten thanks to the Family Empowerment Scholarship Education Options scholarship.

Luten, a speech therapist, discusses the search she and her husband, Jameson, a registered nurse, undertook to find the right educational option for Ellie, who, like a many young children, gets a little anxious at times.

After looking at traditional district, charter, and private schools, they decided that Holy Family Catholic School was the best environment for their daughter to start her formal education.

“We found out this summer that thanks to the new income threshold for the state scholarship, we were going to be eligible for it, and that was really huge in our decision making in sending Ellie to Catholic school … we probably would not have been able to do that had we not been eligible for the state scholarship, so we are really, really thankful for that. It’s been a huge blessing for our family.”


  • The search for the perfect educational option for Ellie
  • Why a Catholic education proved to be the best fit
  • The family’s feelings after learning that the Florida Legislature’s expansion of the state’s school choice scholarship program included families in their income bracket
  • What the Lutens’ financial situation would have been had they not been eligible for a state scholarship