DeSantis’ Florida school voucher program sees more parents applying for scholarships

ORLANDO, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new school voucher program is breaking records.


Florida is on track to service more school choice applications than all the other 49 states combined.

But that popularity is causing some issues for parents eager for their children to land a scholarship.

As a mom and founder of Master Tree Academy, Jona Schultz knows the frustrations surrounding Florida’s School Choice and Vouchers program.

One of those concerns is DeSantis’ new law allowing any Florida household to send their child to any school.

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“There’s a little bit of an issue with the government not really informing parents,” Schultz said.

Step Up For Students processes the majority of the applications.

Last year, the number of submissions came out to 250,000. And this year, the number of submissions was 350,000.

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But some parents complain that they have waited almost two hours on the phone to talk to customer service.

Doug Tuthill, president of Step Up For Students, said they understand the bumps in the system that occur with so many people.

“We added more stuff to our e-help systems and more staff to answer emails,” he said.

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Tuthill wants parents to know that there’s no need to worry if they have applied for the Family Empowerment Scholarship.

“Every individual family, by law, will get funded,” he said.

This is also regardless of income or when families apply.

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Tuthill said the state allocated about $1.3 billion to fund the program.

Central Florida families could be awarded between $7,000 and $9,000 per student.

“We just want families to keep working with us,” Tuthill said. “We are doing our best to get as many families processed as quickly as possible.”

Step Up For Students said every submitted application will be awarded unless there is a late application for the scholarship.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.

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