Teach Florida Lauds Historic Growth of Florida’s Private School Choice Program

Posted on September 1, 2016 In Press Releases

2,400 Jewish Students Expected to Benefit

Teach Florida, a project of the Orthodox Union, lauds the announcement that Florida’s tuition tax credit scholarship program, the nation’s largest private school choice program, experienced historic growth this school year with 92,011 students receiving tax credit scholarships, an increase of 17% since last year. Last year, $11.7 million in tuition assistance allowed 2,056 students to attend 29 Jewish schools. An estimated 2,400 Jewish students will receive scholarships this year.

“Florida has become a positive model of how states can expand school choice and improve educational opportunities for its families,” said Dr. Allan Jacob, a founding board member of Teach Florida and a longtime leader in the school choice movement with the Florida Jewish Leadership Coalition. “We are proud to help give more families the opportunity to provide their children a Jewish education with less financial strain on them and the schools.”

Due to Teach Florida’s work and participation in a bi-partisan school choice movement, the scholarship program, known as Step Up, has grown 550% since 2005. In the last 6 years, more than $47 million of these funds have provided 9,485 scholarships to Jewish children to attend 29 Jewish day schools or yeshivot.

“Families should be able to send their children to schools where they will best thrive,” said Mimi Jankovits, Florida Regional Director of OU Advocacy. “The OU works to ensure that more middle class families qualify for partial scholarships and most importantly, that lawmakers in Tallahassee understand that school choice is important to their constituents.”

Said Maury Litwack, OU Advocacy Director of State Political Affairs, “The growing numbers of Jewish students receiving tuition support from Florida’s scholarship program is proof positive that advocacy for government funding works, and can play an important role in making Jewish education affordable and accessible.”