Step Up For Students is an organization dedicated to providing students with more opportunities to attain the education that will best serve them on their path to a brighter tomorrow. The scholarships provided by Step Up For Students in Clearwater, FL, include the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship, Gardiner Scholarship, Hope Scholarship, and Reading Scholarship.
According to the Step Up For Students website, the organization “empowers parents to pursue and engage in the most appropriate learning options for their children, with an emphasis on families who lack the financial resources to access these options.”
This ideal is embodied by the FTC Scholarship. This scholarship provides funding for families who need financial assistance to enroll their children in a private school or transport them to attend a public school located in a different county. Qualifying families can renew their scholarships every year, but the high demand for this scholarship means that availability is limited. More than 680,000 FTC Scholarships have been awarded to low-income families with children, grades kindergarten through 12th, since 2002.
The Gardiner Scholarship awards funding to parents with children who have unique abilities or special needs. Special needs students require individualized educational plans to best serve their needs. The scholarship honors Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner, who pushed for funding alongside his wife Camille to support students like their son, Andrew, who has Down Syndrome. The Gardiner Scholarship gives parents the freedom to customize their child’s education according to their needs. Money can be utilized for enrollment fees, therapists, specialists, curriculum, technology, or college savings. On average, students are awarded $10,000.
In 2018, the Florida Legislature established the Hope Scholarship Program as a countermeasure to give students a reprieve from bullying and violence. This scholarship allows students to seek a new learning environment free from bullying to give them a better opportunity to learn effectively without being threatened with violence. Parents can seek a different school that isn’t at capacity and receive funding for transportation. In some cases, parents can request a scholarship to enroll their child at an eligible private school like Lakeside Christian School.
In order for students to qualify for the Hope Scholarship, a qualifying incident must have taken place at school or during a school-related or school-sponsored program or activity, which includes riding the bus or waiting at the bus stop. Qualifying incidents include:
If your child is having difficulties learning to read and is in grades three through five, they may qualify for the Reading Scholarship administered by Step Up For Students. This scholarship offers parents significant savings on tuition and fees related to part-time tutoring, summer schools, and after-school literacy programs by establishing education savings accounts worth $500.
Lakeside Christian School is one of the Step Up For Students participating schools in Clearwater, FL. Since 1975, we have worked together to challenge “students to achieve their academic, social and career-minded goals.”
If you would like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, a school that partners with Step Up For Students in Clearwater, FL, please give us a call at (727) 239-7808 or schedule a tour of our campus.