Family Empowerment Scholarship
On May 11, 2021, Governor DeSantis signed House Bill 7045 into law, resulting in several changes to the state's K-12 scholarship programs, including an extensive expansion of the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program (FES). House Bill 7045 expanded the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program to include two branches of eligibility, the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES EO) and the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities (FES UA).
Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES EO)
This branch of the scholarship eligibility is based on family income and provides the option for K-12 students to attend a participating private school. Families apply through one of the approved scholarship funding organizations (SFO), which are responsible for determining and distributing funding to private schools. FES EO also offers families of eligible students the option to receive a $750 scholarship to provide transportation to a public school different from the school to which the student was assigned.
Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities (FES UA)
Effective July 1, 2022, the McKay Scholarship Program will join the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program under the Unique Abilities category. For information on the transition process, see McKay transition to FES: FAQs.
This branch of the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program is designed to offer families of students with disabilities as young as 3 years of age access to additional education options. Families may choose to enroll their student in another public school, or they may take the opportunity to receive a personal education savings account (ESA) for their student. With an ESA, parents receive a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts with restricted, but multiple, uses. An ESA can be used to fund not only items such as private school tuition and fees, but also online learning programs, private tutoring, community college costs, higher education expenses and other approved customized learning services and materials. Families apply and annually renew for participation in FES UA through one of the approved SFOs, which are responsible for determining eligibility, awarding and distributing funding to eligible student accounts, and approving eligible expenditures.
How do I apply?
If you are interested in applying for either branch of the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program, please contact one of the two scholarship funding organizations that administers these programs:
P.O. Box 15719
Tampa, FL 33684
P.O. Box 54367
Jacksonville, FL 32245-4367
FES UA Public School Option
Brevard Public Schools closes selected public schools to FES requests based on the building capacity at the school and class size at each grade level. Each school in Brevard County is reviewed and updated periodically for these factors to determine which public schools are available as a FES choice. Based on these calculations, all public schools, with the exception of Satellite High School and Viera High School, are open for consideration of FES Applicants for 2022-2023 school year. After requesting an open school for your child, there is still further consideration that is made as the request is reviewed to assure that the requested school has the ability to accommodate your child’s needs as stated on their Individual Education Plan (IEP). Parents must use the link below to request one (or more) open schools in order for your child to be considered for a Family Empowerment Scholarship to that school.
Note - Creel, Discovery, Merritt Island, Oak Park, Palm Bay High, Southwest, and Titusville only have selected classrooms open for consideration of Public FES Student Applicants.
Choice Schools: Schools of Choice are considered public schools for purposes of the FES. Parents may apply for a public-school FES to a choice school, choice program, magnet school, or charter school. Parents are notified that although they can make such application, the FES application and approval to these types of schools do not provide the student the opportunity to go to the front of the line and be automatically accepted. Students must complete the school’s registration process and enter the lottery or waiting list just as all other students who apply to attend one of these schools. If the student is first admitted to one of these schools through the normal lottery system or waiting list system, then the student who has applied for and is eligible for a FES would be able to attend this school with the advantages offered through the FES.
Transportation: If a chosen school is approved as a FES request, BPS will provide transportation for the student to the approved public school of choice if the chosen school is more than two (2) miles and less than four (4) miles from the student’s residence. It is the parents’ responsibility to arrange for transportation of their child to the chosen approved public school for students living less than two miles or more than four miles from the chosen school. Calculation of distance is made by the BPS Transportation Department.
Deadlines: The deadlines for intent to a public-school choice using FES must be at least 30 calendar days prior to the first day of the school year or 30 calendar days prior to the beginning of the second semester. The deadlines for intent to a public-school choice for the 2022-2023 school year are July 10, 2022 (for first semester) and December 5, 2022 (for second semester).
District Contact Information
Telephone Number: (321) 633-1000 extension 11503
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org