Florida corporations funded more than $500 million in scholarships in 2021-22

The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship served 85,612 low- and middle-income students last year, according to a new report from the Florida Department of Education. The program funded $568.8 million in scholarships, worth an average of around $7,300, during the 2021-22 school year.

Step Up For Students, which hosts this blog, served 83,643 students, or 97.7 percent of the total.

Of the students, 38.9% were Hispanic, 28.1% Black, 27.2% white, and 5.8 % “other.”

During the 2021-22 school year 1,990 private schools in 65 of the 67 counties participated in the FTC program. According to the Department, 65.1% of the private schools reported a religious affiliation while 34.9% reported no affiliation. However, 81.4% of students attended a religious-affiliated private school.

Miami-Dade County enrolled the most students with 19,454 in the program, followed by Broward (8,297), Orange (7,472) and Duval (6,254) counties. Calhoun and Liberty counties enrolled no students in the scholarship program.

Created by the state Legislature in 2001, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship is funded by private corporate contributions. Donors receive a dollar-for-dollar credit on their corporate taxes. Last year the program was capped at $873 million in tax credits.

For 2022-23, the tax credit cap has been raised to more than $1 billion. Step Up for Students so far has 90,518 students enrolled in the program this year. Nearly 1.2 million scholarships have been awarded through the program since 2002.

Florida Tax Credit scholarships are still available for the 2022-23 school year. Parents and guardians may apply for a scholarship for free through Step Up For Students here.

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BY Patrick R. Gibbons

Patrick Gibbons is public affairs manager at Step Up for Students and a research fellow for the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. A former teacher, he lived in Las Vegas, Nev., for five years, where he worked as an education writer and researcher. He can be reached at (813) 498.1991 or emailed at pgibbons@stepupforstudents.org. Follow Patrick on Twitter: at @PatrickRGibbons and @redefinEDonline.


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