McKay Scholarship Program
Florida's school choice programs allow parents to choose the best educational setting—public or private—for their child. The McKay Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities provided nearly 30,000 Florida students with special needs the opportunity to attend a participating private school during the 2021-22 school year. The McKay Scholarship Program also offers parents public school choice. A parent of an eligible special needs student may choose to transfer the student to another public school.
This Scholarship Program offers two options, whichever option is chosen the parent should bear in mind that there must be sufficient resources in place for their child(ren). Also parents are to file their intent at floridaschoolchoice.org.
Public School Choice
Parents receive a copy of the ‘Letter of Intent’ for public school choice that is used in Alachua County. Parents are to make a first, second, or third choice.
Private School Choice
Parents are to go to the participating private school(s) that they are interested in:
- They are encouraged to take a current copy of the IEP or 504 plan that has been developed for their child. (Note: if this option is chosen and the student is accepted and enrolled in a private school, the IEP or 504 plan will go into a state of ‘limbo’ until the child re-enrolls in public school or graduates from high school.)
- The funds allocated for their child for private school tuition may or may not cover all of the tuition, therefore there may be out of pocket costs for the parent.
- Transportation is the parent’s responsibility with this option.
If this option is chosen and the child is accepted in a private school the parent is to call the District ESE Office (Deborah Weathers) and inform the office of the first day the child sits in class all day. The same is true if the child is withdrawn from a private school, the date of withdrawal and the name of the school.