What is the Step Up For Students Program?
It is an initiative of the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship Program. The innovative program provides K-12 education scholarships for qualifying low-income students who are entering kindergarten through fifth grade OR who attended public school the previous year. The scholarships give low-income parents the opportunity to choose the K-12 school that best meets their children’s needs. The scholarships cover up to $5,272 for private school tuition and books or up to $500 in transportation costs to an out-of-district public school. Questions? Call 1-877-735-7837.
For more information, visit www.stepupforstudents.org
VPK is Free to All 4-Year Olds!
Voluntary Prekindergarten or VPK gives children a jump start by preparing them for school and enhancing their pre-reading, pre-math, language and social skills. By developing the skills children need to become strong readers and students at an early age, children are more likely to be successful in school. VPK classrooms offer high-quality programs that include high literacy standards, developmentally appropriate curricula, manageable class sizes, and qualified teachers.
If you live in Florida and have a child who turns 4 years of age by September 1, your child is eligible for Florida’s FREE VPK program. Your child can attend one of the two programs offered annually. The school-year program includes 540 hours of instructional time and begins in August. The summer program consists of 300 instructional hours and can begin as early as May 1.
There are a number of private child care and public school providers offering the VPK program across Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. For information in Miami-Dade call (305) 373-3521 and for information in Monroe call (305) 296-5557.
For more information, visit www.vpkhelp.org
McKay Scholarship Program
Florida’s school choice programs ensure that no child will be left behind by allowing parents to choose the best educational setting—public or private—for their child. The McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program provided over 24,000 Florida students with special needs the opportunity to attend a participating private school during the 2011-12 school year. The McKay Scholarships 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.
“The school-choice issue is not about public versus private; it’s about choice. It’s about knowing what works well for my family and being able to make that choice for them.”
— Parent of a McKay Scholarships Student
For more information, visit www.floridaschoolchoice.org/information/mckay/
Family Central (FCI)
A not-for-profit 501(c)(3) agency founded in 1971. For over 40 years, Family Central has played a pivotal role in the lives of South Florida families by strengthening the social, emotional and economic binds that family members have to one another, as well as to their community. Last year alone, Family Central’s vital services reached more than 115,000 South Florida’s children, families and providers.
OUR MISSION: Family Central promotes children’s success by providing quality family support and educational services.
For more information, visit www.familycentral.org
The Title 1 Program
The Title I staff is committed to providing quality service and support to principals, teachers, support staff, students, and parents in a timely and efficient manner. A telephone call and/or personal contact with the director and program specialists will result in immediate attention and appropriate responses to school needs and requests.
The purpose of Title I is to support school efforts to ensure that all children meet challenging academic standards and have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education. This purpose can be accomplished by providing additional resources for high poverty schools to enhance educational opportunities for disadvantaged students. Title I funds must be used in addition to District and State Funds. All of the services students would receive in the absence of Title I must be in place before Title I funds are used.
For more information, visit www.fldoe.org/bsa/title1/