Family Empowerment Scholarship For Students With Unique Abilities

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Fes Scholarship For Students With Unique Abilities

How to submit a Pre-Authorization request

This section of the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program is aimed to provide access to extra education opportunities for families of students with disabilities as young as three years old. Families have the option of enrolling their child in a different public school or receiving a personal education savings account for their child. Parents receive a deposit of public cash into government-authorized savings accounts that can be used for a variety of purposes. An ESA can be used to pay for online learning programs, private tutoring, community college costs, higher education costs, and other approved personalized learning services and materials, in addition to private school tuition and fees.

FES UA participation is applied for and renewed annually by one of the designated SFOs, which are responsible for establishing eligibility, providing and distributing cash to qualified student accounts, and approving eligible expenditures.

Eligibility For The Family Empowerment Scholarship Program


The Family Empowerment Scholarship Program is for Florida residents only.

Age Requirements:

Family Empowerment Scholarship Educational Option: If the student is attending a private school, scholarship recipients need to be age five before September 1st of the year in which the student applies for program participation. Or the child must be eligible to enroll in kindergarten through 12th grade in a Florida public school. Students entering first grade need to be age six before September 1st.

Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities: If a student is enrolled in a home education program, they may be eligible if they are three years old or four years old by September 1st or eligible to enroll in K-12 at a private or public school.

Household Income:

During the 2022-23 school year, a family of four people with a household income up to $111,000 annually may be eligible.

IEP & Diagnoses:

Eligible students need to have an Individualized Education Program from a public school child demonstrating that a child is qualified for special education OR diagnosis of a disability from a Florida licensed physician or psychologist.

Many diagnoses are covered. Eligible students many have diagnoses, including but not limited to:

Family Empowerment Scholarship Benefit/award

FES UA scholarship amounts are calculated in relation to the students grade level, matrix level, and school district, just like the McKay Scholarship. They are based on the Florida Education Finance Program budget set by the legislature each year. Scholarship amounts may differ from year to year. House Bill 7045, on the other hand, stated that students who transfer from McKay to FES UA will not receive a lower scholarship amount than they did in the previous academic year.

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Family Empowerment Scholarship For Students With Unique Abilities

Effective July 1, 2022, the McKay Scholarship Program will join the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program under the Unique Abilities category. For information on the transition process, see McKay transition to FES: FAQs.

This branch of the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program is designed to offer families of students with disabilities, as young as 3 years of age, access to additional education options. Families may choose to enroll their student in another public school, or they may take the opportunity to receive a personal education savings account for their student. With an ESA, parents receive a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts with restricted, but multiple, uses. An ESA can be used to fund not only items such as private school tuition and fees, but also online learning programs, private tutoring, community college costs, higher education expenses and other approved customized learning services and materials. Families apply and annually renew for participation in FES UA through one of the approved SFOs, which are responsible for determining eligibility, awarding and distributing funding to eligible student accounts, and approving eligible expenditures.

Family Empowerment Scholarship Renewal

KMM@CC Graduation Ceremony 2021

Renewal for the FES is done annually. Parents of scholars are expected to apply for scholarship renewal each year to validate their scholarship duration.

To renew, simply apply through one of the approved Scholarship Funding Organizations . The SFO will check your eligibility status and distribute funds to eligible student accounts after approval. Always ensure to stick to the FES program guidelines to sustain your scholarship.

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Family Empowerment Scholarship For Educational Options

This branch of the scholarship eligibility is based on family income and provides the option for K-12 students to attend a participating private school. Families apply through one of the approved scholarship funding organizations , which are responsible for determining and distributing funding to private schools. FES EO also offers families of eligible students the option to receive a $750 scholarship to provide transportation to a public school different from the school to which the student was assigned.

Mckay Students Transferring To Fes

For the 2022-2023 school year, students who have been receiving the McKay Scholarship to attend a private school will need to transfer to the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities, or FES-UA program by applying with a Scholarship Funding Organization or SFO. Families that want to choose a public school option must contact their districts school choice office.

AAA Scholarship Foundation is one of two SFOs administering the FES-UA Scholarship Program. According to state law, the parent/guardian of an FES-UA student must annually:

1) sign an agreement with an SFO , and

2) annually submit a sworn compliance statement to the SFO to satisfy or maintain program eligibility, including eligibility to receive and spend program payments by renewing participation in the program each year. The sworn compliance statement is part of AAAs application.

FES-UA Applications

The final 2022-23 application submission deadline for AAAs disability-based scholarship was 5/6/2022. Applications that were submitted by that date will be processed. Applications submitted after that date will not be processed.

If you missed the deadline but still want to apply for an FES-UA scholarship for 2022-2023, please visit Step Up for Students website.

FES-UA Scholarship Funding

FES-UA Scholarship Accounts

Parents/guardians of conditionally eligible students will receive the following documents in the mail directly from AAA:

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What Is The Family Empowerment Scholarship

The Florida Department of Education Family Empowerment Scholarship Program is a state-approved organization that helps administer scholarships for lower-income families in Florida.

The Family Empowerment Scholarship is different from other state scholarships because it allows parents to personalize their childrens education by directing money toward a combination of programs and approved providers.

Education Savings Account Allows Dylan To Gain Independence One Step At A Time

How to approve a reimbursement requested submitted by your approved a provider.

SEMINOLE, Florida Dylan Quessenberry was 15 when he walked up a flight of stairs for the first time.

It was 20 steps, linking two floors at his school. But for Dylan, who has cerebral palsy, that staircase was more than just a route to the cafeteria at Learning Independence For Tomorrow Academy, a private K-12 school that serves neurodiverse students.

Those 20 steps were part of his journey to what he called independence, something he sought when he joined the school in the fifth grade on a Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities .

It was a defining moment in his life, LiFT Principal Holly Andrade said. A massive milestone.

Dylan, now 18 and a senior at LiFT, recently recalled that day as if he were still standing at the summit, sweaty and spent and filled with a sense of accomplishment that few can understand.

Like a marathoner on race day, Dylan woke that morning knowing the years of work he put in with his physical therapist, Valerie, were about to pay off.

Those stairs, he thought, are mine!

And they were, one arduous step at a time.

Leaving his walker at the bottom and cheered on by students who were involved in afterschool programs, the school staff still on campus and Valerie, Dylan made the ascent. He pumped his fists in the air when he finished.

It took nearly half an hour.

It was amazing, he said. I was like, glorified.

Andrade arrived on the scene in time to see Dylan reach the second-floor landing.

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What Is The Mckay Scholarship

The McKay scholarship is a Florida Department of Education scholarship program for students with disabilities. Thousands of special needs pupils benefit from this grant, which allows them to attend private or public school.

As of June 30, 2022, the law that established the McKay Scholarship Program is abolished. Students in the McKay Scholarship Program will join the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program under the Unique Abilities category beginning July 1, 2022. .

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Research Into The Teacher Educator Profession

The teacher educator profession has also been seen as under-researched empirical research on professional practice is also scarce.

However, the importance of the quality of this profession for the quality of teaching and learning has been underlined by international bodies including the OECD and the European Commission.

Some writers have therefore identified a need for more research into “what teachers of teachers themselves need to know”, and what institutional supports are needed to “meet the complex demands of preparing teachers for the 21st century”.

In response to this perceived need, more research projects are now focussing on the teacher educator profession. Several academic journals cover this field.

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How We Can Help

  • Connected Speech Pathology has been a certified DIRECT Family Empowerment Scholarship provider since 2018. We reach eligible students across the state of Florida by delivering speech-language therapy and evaluations online.

  • When you work with us, there are NO out-of-pocket costs for you. Your Family Empowerment Scholarship funds will cover 100% of the speech-language evaluation and therapy services provided.

  • We will handle all of the steps involved in reimbursement so that you can focus on your child.

Family Empowerment Scholarship For Educational Purpose


This section of the scholarship is based on family income and gives K-12 pupils the option of attending a participating private school. Families must apply through an established scholarship financing organization , which is in charge of determining and distributing funds to private schools. FES EO also provides qualified children families with the opportunity to obtain a $750 scholarship to help pay for transportation to a public school other than the one to which the student was assigned.

Apply For The American University Scholarship 2022-2023

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Mckay Scholarship For Students With Disabilites Transitions To The Family Empowerment Scholarship Program For Students With Unique Abilities

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Floridas many school choice programs have been creating opportunities for parents to choose the best educational setting for their child for over twenty years. During the 2021-2022 school year, the McKay Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities is providing approximately 27,000 Florida students with special needs the opportunity to attend a participating private school. This notice is to inform your family of upcoming changes to the program and the additional opportunities these changes will bring.

As of June 30, 2022, the McKay Scholarship Program will no longer exist. For the 2022-2023 school year, students who have been receiving the McKay Scholarship to attend a private school will be transferred to the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities, or FES-UA. This transition will provide families with access to a personal Education Savings Account, or ESA, empowering you to further tailor the use of scholarship funds for your childs unique educational needs.

The Florida Department of Education believes that giving parents the freedom to choose how their child is educated is critical to their wellbeing and future. The FES-UA will financially empower parents to guide their child on a path to success. To learn more about the FES-UA, as well as Floridas other school choice options, visit our website linked in the box below.

Policy And Legislation On The Teacher Educator Profession

While schools and school teachers are often in the news and in political debate, research shows that the teacher educator profession is largely absent from such public discussions and from policy discourse in Education which often focuses exclusively on teachers and school leaders.

Some research suggests that, while most countries have policies, and legislation, in place concerning the teaching profession, few countries have a clear policy or strategy on the teacher educator profession. Caena found that some of the consequences of this situation can include a teacher educator profession that is poorly organised, has low status or low formal recognition, has few regulations, professional standards or even minimum qualifications, and no coherent approach to the selection, induction, or continuing professional development of Teacher Educators.

In India, the National Council of Teacher Education released the ‘National Curricular Framework for Teacher Education, 2010 , which aims to remedy many of the ills of teacher training in India. It calls for preparing a ‘humane and reflective practitioner’ and for fostering the agency and autonomy of the teacher, who can interpret the curriculum meaningfully to the contextual needs of the learners, than merely focus on ‘teaching the text book’.

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Facts About The Family Empowerment Scholarship

Family Empowerment Scholarship funds can be applied to either of the following:

  • Family Empowerment Scholarship Educational Option -OR-

  • Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities

The Florida Department of Education Family Empowerment Scholarship income level is available when the students household income level does not exceed 375% of the federal poverty level.

Priority is given to scholarship students whose incomes are below the federal poverty level & to families of children in foster care or out-of-home care.

Once a student has been awarded the Family Empowerment Scholarship, that students siblings also become eligible for the Family Empowerment Scholarships private school scholarship option.

Addis Memorial Park: A Place To Remember A Brave Little Girl

How to submit a Reimbursement Request.

Outside the second-story window of Addison Sinclairs pink bedroom in Windermere, Florida, across an asphalt bike path, amidst a copse of oak trees draped in Spanish moss, is a green space that will become a memorial to the little girl who is no longer there to view it.

Addi, as she was called by her family and friends, passed away Dec. 29, 2020, after a five-year battle with cancer. She was 8.

Resilient is how Kara Sinclair described her daughter, who was diagnosed with Stage IV Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer, when she was 3 years old in 2015. Addi initially endured a year-and-a-half of treatments that included chemotherapy, radiation, and multiple surgeries. Over the next five years, Addis cancer recurred nine times.

She faced things that would knock any adult down. She didnt let it knock her down, Kara said. She always had spunk and charisma. Always looked forward to the next day.

Kara and her husband, Mark, tried to keep their daughters childhood as normal as possible during those difficult times. That included ensuring Addi received an education. She initially tried attending a public school, but she missed so much classroom time because of her treatments that she was forced to stay home. Her kindergarten teacher would come to the house to work with her, but it proved not to be a long-term solution. Addis compromised immune system also eventually negated the possibility of class instruction.

We wouldve had to prioritize med over ed, she said.

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Professional Knowledge And Competences Of Teacher Educators

Being able to educate teachers requires different knowledge and skills than those required to teach pupils or students.

Teacher educators’ fields of knowledge

Some recent research has highlighted the many fields of knowledge that are required by teacher educators these include knowledge about: the pedagogy of teacher education learning and learners teaching and coaching and the profession of teacher educator itself. In addition, teacher educators need to know about the specific contexts their students will work and working in and the subjects they will teach. More experienced teacher educators need expertise in: curriculum development and assessment the wider context of teacher education, the way it is organised, and in research.

Multiple identities

The complexity of the tasks of the teacher educator arises in part because, as research has shown, they have multiple professional identities. . While some of those who carry responsibility for the education of teachers do self-identify as ‘teacher educator’, others may self-identify rather as ‘researcher‘ or ‘academic‘ others may relate primarily to their academic discipline, such as ‘chemist‘ or ‘geographer.’


Policy And Related Issues

The process by which teachers are educated is the subject of political discussion in many countries, reflecting both the value attached by societies and cultures to the preparation of young people for life, and the fact that education systems consume significant financial resources.

However, the degree of political control over Teacher Education varies. Where teacher education is entirely in the hands of universities, the state may have no direct control whatever over what or how new teachers are taught this can lead to anomalies, such as teachers being taught using teaching methods that would be deemed inappropriate if they used the same methods in schools, or teachers being taught by persons with little or no hands-on experience of teaching in real classrooms. In other systems, teacher education may be the subject of detailed prescription .

Policy cooperation in the European Union has led to a broad description of the kinds of attributes that teachers in European Union member states should possess: the Common European Principle for Teacher Competences and Qualifications.

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Two Step Up For Students Schools Earn Coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools Distinction

Holy Spirit Catholic School, a preK-8 school in Jacksonville with an enrollment of 219, and St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, with a student body of more than 2,000, are the only schools in Florida to earn the coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools distinction for 2022.

Both schools have students who receive education choice scholarships managed by Step Up For Students.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Award was established in 1982 to recognize the best schools in the country. Private schools are recognized as Exemplary High Performing if students in every grade score in the top 15% in the country in the standardized Math and Reading tests.

The results were based on test scores from the 2021-22 school year, with 24 private and 273 public schools nationwide earning the distinction.

As our country continues to recover from the pandemic, we know that our future will only be as strong as the education we provide to all of our children, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a press release. Blue Ribbon Schools have gone above and beyond to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs.

Dr. John Luciano has been the Principal at Holy Spirit for 21 years. For nearly two decades he has checked to see if each grade level achieved the required score for a Blue Ribbon application to be submitted. The school came close a number of years, finally achieving the goal in 2020-21 school year.

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