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1002.395 Personalized Education Program (FTC-PEP)

HEF's analysis:

FTC-PEP is not a government funded program. It is funded from private, voluntary contributions to the Scholarship Funding Organizations (SFOs). It is created to improve the quality of education and ensure that parents may exercise and enjoy their basic right to educate their children as they see fit.


1002.395 Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.


(1) FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.—

(a) The Legislature finds that:

1. It has the inherent power to determine subjects of taxation for general or particular public purposes.

2. Expanding educational opportunities and improving the quality of educational services within the state are valid public purposes that the Legislature may promote using its sovereign power to determine subjects of taxation and exemptions from taxation.

3. Ensuring that all parents, regardless of means, may exercise and enjoy their basic right to educate their children as they see fit is a valid public purpose that the Legislature may promote using its sovereign power to determine subjects of taxation and exemptions from taxation.


(b) The purpose of this section is to:

1. Enable taxpayers to make private, voluntary contributions to nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations in order to promote the general welfare.

2. Provide taxpayers who wish to help parents with limited resources exercise their basic right to educate their children as they see fit with a means to do so.

3. Promote the general welfare by expanding educational opportunities for children of families that have limited financial resources.

4. Enable children in this state to achieve a greater level of excellence in their education.

5. Improve the quality of education in this state, both by expanding educational opportunities for children and by creating incentives for schools to achieve excellence.


(2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term (see statute HERE for full details)


(3) PROGRAM; INITIAL SCHOLARSHIP ELIGIBILITY.—

(a) The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program is established.

(b)1. A student is eligible for a Florida tax credit scholarship under this section if the student is a resident of this state and is eligible to enroll in kindergarten through grade 12 in a public school in this state.

2. Priority must be given in the following order:

a. A student whose household income level does not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty level or who is in foster care or out-of-home care.

b. A student whose household income level exceeds 185 percent of the federal poverty level, but does not exceed 400 percent of the federal poverty level.


(4) SCHOLARSHIP PROHIBITIONS.—A student is not eligible for a scholarship while he or she is:

(a) Enrolled in a public school, including, but not limited to, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, the College-Preparatory Boarding Academy, a developmental research school authorized under s. 1002.32, or a charter school authorized under this chapter. For purposes of this paragraph, a 3- or 4-year-old child who receives services funded through the Florida Education Finance Program is considered a student enrolled in a public school;

(b) Enrolled in a school operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in a Department of Juvenile Justice commitment program;

(c) Receiving any other educational scholarship pursuant to this chapter;

(d) Not having regular and direct contact with his or her private school teachers pursuant to s. 1002.421(1)(i) unless he or she is enrolled in a personalized education program;

(e) Participating in a home education program as defined in s. 1002.01(1);

(f) Participating in a private tutoring program pursuant to s. 1002.43 unless he or she is enrolled in a personalized education program; or

(g) Participating in virtual instruction pursuant to s. 1002.455 that receives state funding pursuant to the student’s participation.


(5) SCHOLARSHIP-FUNDING TAX CREDITS; LIMITATIONS.—(LINK HERE for full details)

(6) OBLIGATIONS OF ELIGIBLE NONPROFIT SCHOLARSHIP-FUNDING ORGANIZATIONS.—(LINK HERE for full details)


(7) PARENT AND STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PROGRAM PARTICIPATION.—

(a) Parent with child in private school must...(LINK HERE for full details)


(b) A parent whose student will not be enrolled full time in a public or private school must:

1. Apply to an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization to participate in the program as a personalized education student by a date set by the organization. The request must be communicated directly to the organization in a manner that creates a written or electronic record of the request and the date of receipt of the request. Beginning with new and renewal applications for the 2025-2026 school year and thereafter, notify the organization by May 31 that the scholarship is being accepted, renewed, or declined.

2. Sign an agreement with the organization and annually submit a sworn compliance statement to the organization to satisfy or maintain program eligibility, including eligibility to receive and spend program payments, by:

a. Affirming that the program funds are used only for authorized purposes serving the student's educational needs, as described in paragraph (6)(d), and that they will not receive a payment, refund, or rebate of any funds provided under this section.

b. Affirming that the parent is responsible for all eligible expenses in excess of the amount of the scholarship and for the education of his or her student.

c. Submitting a student learning plan to the organization and revising the plan at least annually before program renewal.

d. Requiring his or her student to take a nationally norm1691 referenced test identified by the Department of Education, or a statewide assessment under s. 1008.22, and provide assessment results to the organization before the student's program renewal.

e. Complying with the scholarship application and renewal processes and requirements established by the organization Renewing participation in the program each year. A student whose participation in the program is not renewed may continue to spend scholarship funds that are in his or her account from prior years unless the account must be closed pursuant to s. 1002.394(5)(a)2.

f. Procuring the services necessary to educate the student. When the student receives a scholarship, the district school board is not obligated to provide the student with a free appropriate public education.


For purposes of this paragraph, full-time enrollment does not include enrollment at a private school that addresses regular and direct contact with teachers through the student learning plan in accordance with s. 1002.421(1)(i).


(c) A parent may not apply for multiple scholarships under this section and s. 1002.394 for an individual student at the same time. An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization may not further regulate, exercise control over, or require documentation beyond the requirements of this subsection unless the regulation, control, or documentation is necessary for participation in the program.



TO USE FTC-PEP in a Hybrid of Private and Home Education (Parent-Directed) options

(i) Maintain a physical location in the state at which each student has regular and direct contact with teachers. Regular and direct contact with teachers may be satisfied for students enrolled in a personalized education program if students have regular and direct contact with teachers at the physical location at least two school days per week and the student learning plan addresses the remaining instructional time.


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