The parent of a public school student with a disability may request and receive from the State of Florida, a John M. McKay Scholarship (McKay Scholarship) for the student to enroll in and attend a private school or attend a public school other than the one to which is assigned, in accordance with the rules of the State Board of Education and with the Palm Beach Public Schools’ choice plan.
To be considered for the McKay Scholarship, the student must have an Individual Educational Plan (IEP), must be entering grades K-12, and must have spent the prior school year in attendance at a Florida public school in accordance with requirements and definitions established by Florida Senate Bill 256. Only students that were counted in the October and February FTE Surveys at a public school site during the prior school year are eligible for initial eligibility. Students with disabilities are students who are documented as having a mental disability, speech impairment, language impairment, a hearing impairment, a visual impairment, a dual sensory impairment, a physical impairment, an emotional/behavioral disability, a specific learning disability, a traumatic brain injury, or autism spectrum disorder.
If the student does not meet these requirements but has an IEP and is a dependent child of a member of the United States Armed Forces who transfers to a school in Florida from out of state or from a foreign country pursuant to a parent’s permanent change of station orders, the child may be eligible for a McKay Scholarship.
How to Apply Parents may find more information regarding the McKay Scholarship program by calling the Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice at 1-800-447-1636 or by visiting their website at www.floridaschoolchoice.org. To apply for a McKay Scholarship to a private, the parent must apply online at this website. The parent must apply for the McKay Scholarship prior to withdrawing the student from the public school.
Private School Requests For assistance with a private school request, parents may call the Florida Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice Office at 1-800-447-1636. The deadlines for intent filing, private school enrollment and quarterly payments are set by Florida Statute. The deadlines can be found on the McKay Scholarship website at www.floridaschoolchoice.org.