Step Up for Students

Step Up for Students scholarships is a product of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program that was started in 1998 to help lower-income families have a choice in where their children went to school. Since its inception, Step Up for Students scholarships has grown from serving 750 students to almost 80,000 statewide in Florida. The scholarship allows parents the opportunity to take their children to participating private schools if they felt they were not being served with quality in their local schools.

The Step Up for Students scholarship program is different because it targets students who tend to have the most limited options for improving the quality of their education. Research has shown that Step Up for Students scholarships serve primarily students who are low-performing, and the scholarships provide a way for parents to help their children find success.

Lakeside Christian School, a K-12 private school in Clearwater Florida, accepts students from the local Clearwater area whose parents qualify for the Step Up for Students scholarship.  The same advantages of educational quality available in private education that were out of reach to all except those with the financial means, is available now through the Step Up for Students scholarships and Lakeside Christian School.  The school provides all students with the process, program, and tools to accelerate their learning beyond the normal pace of mainstream education. Regardless of parent income, there is a large segment of students nationally and locally who have large gaps of un-mastered prior grade-level skills that hinder their success in high school and college, thus limiting their choices for career and limiting their lifelong earning potential.

According to Lakeside Christian School administrator, Jim Jensen, “The Step Up for Students scholarship allows our school to meet the intent of its mission and purpose statements: to reach out to all, in their surrounding neighborhoods, with an education quality that prospers the future of our community both spiritually and economically. Though the amount of the Step Up for Students scholarship has grown year by year, it still remains below the cost of providing private education delivered with a high degree of quality. We would be outside the boundary of what I believe Scripture mandates of us a followers of Jesus Christ if we served only those with the financial ability to cover the true cost of private education.”

Lakeside Christian School, Inc. is a ministry owned and operated by Lakeside Community Chapel at 1893 Sunset Pt. Rd. in Clearwater. Since 1975, they have provided an educational home for children of local parents who desire to have their students in a Christian environment, from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Located in a private setting well behind the church, Lakeside Christian School offers parents a safe, secure facility offering consistent quality of elementary and secondary education. Please visit our Youtube page for Lakeside Christian School. There you will find videos featuring parents and graduates, some who were able to attend because of the Step up for Students scholarship, attesting to the great program offered to their children. You can find out more information about the Step Up for Students scholarship program by visiting their website at


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