Author: Patrick R. Gibbons

Interest runs high for Florida state scholarships

Applications for two state scholarship programs – the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options – reached new milestones Friday, bringing the number of low- and middle-income students attending K-12 private schools on a state scholarship to 150,180. That’s nearly double the number of students[Read More…]

Florida private school enrollment declines sharply during pandemic

COVID-19 rocked K-12 school enrollment overall last year, but private schools were hit especially hard as enrollment declined for the first time in more than a decade. A new report from the Florida Department of Education shows private school enrollment fell by 33,500 students, the steepest decline observed in the[Read More…]

Latest figures from Florida DOE in line with national surge in homeschooling

The uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 may be responsible for a massive spike in the number of homeschooled students in Florida according to recent data from the state Department of Education. DOE officials report that homeschool enrollment during the 2020-21 school year grew more than 35% over[Read More…]

More evidence that growth of Florida Tax Credit Scholarship has benefited public school students

A recently updated report of a 2020 study that concluded public school student performance improved along with the growth of state scholarship programs for lower-income students in private schools has reaffirmed those results, going beyond the original findings. Additional research from David Figlio, Cassandra M.D. Hart and Kryzstof Karbownik answers[Read More…]

Scholarship eligibility expanding as applications rise

More than 204,000 students already have applied for Florida private school scholarships for the 2021-22 academic year, up 34% from the same time last year. That amount may surge as new, expanded eligibility requirements take effect today. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 7045 into law May 11; the change became[Read More…]

Study details change in Gardiner families’ spending patterns

The longer students remain on Florida’s Gardiner Scholarship program, the more likely their parents are to spend money on curriculum, tutoring and specialized services, a new working paper finds. The study, “Distribution of Education Savings Accounts Usage Among Families,” by Michelle Lofton of the University of Georgia and Martin Lueken[Read More…]

U.S. Supreme Court to conference on Maine school choice case

States can’t discriminate against religious schools because of their religious identity. But can states discriminate if the school teaches religious things? If you thought this debate was settled by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer, think again. Two recent circuit court rulings say yes, states can discriminate against religious instruction.[Read More…]

The 20-year-old scholarship success that might not have been

Twenty years ago, on June 13, 2001, Gov. Jeb Bush signed HB 21, a taxation relief bill that carried within it Florida’s third private school scholarship program. The program, then called the Florida Corporate Income Tax Credit Scholarship, would enroll its first students in the spring of 2002 and would[Read More…]