School Choice Policies

Charter School Choice

Does the state have charter schools?

Are for-profit charter schools or management companies allowed?


1002.33(12)(i): "A charter school shall organize as, or be operated by, a nonprofit organization. "

1002.332(1)(a): For the purposes of this section regarding high-performing charter school systems, an entity is defined as a "municipality or other public entity that is authorized by law to operate a charter school; a private, nonprofit corporation with tax-exempt status under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or a private, for-profit education management corporation."

1002.33(12)(i): Charter schools.

1002.332(1)(a): High-performing charter school system.

Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?

Did not find-

We did not find information about caps on charter schools in Florida statutes. However, Education Commission of the States states that Florida does not have caps on charters.

Education Commission of the States 50-State Comparison

Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?


"Transportation of charter school students shall be provided by the charter school consistent with the requirements of subpart I.E. of chapter 1006 and s. 1012.45."

This is coded as Unclear because in 2015, an Administrative Judge ruled that the school board cannot require charter schools to provide regular school busing to all students.

1002.33(20)(c): Services

Renaissance Charter School, Inc., And Renaissance Charter School At Tradition vs. St. Lucie County School Board, No. 14-004045RU (Fla. DOAH Feb. 2 and 3, 2015) (Final Order).

Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?


Teachers employed or under contract shall be certified but charters can employ/contract noncertified personnel to provide instructional services or to assist instructional staff members as education paraprofessionals.

Additionally, a School of Hope operator, "may employ school administrators and instructional personnel who do not meet the requirements of s. 1012.56 if the school administrators and instructional personnel are not ineligible for such employment under s. 1012.315."

1002.33(12)(f): Employees of charter schools

1002.333(6)(d): Persistently low-performing schools.

Virtual School Choice

Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?


Florida statutes allow for virtual schools, virtual charters, and the Florida Virtual School.

1002.321(4)(a-d): Digital learning.

Are virtual schools required to track attendance?

Did not find

Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?

Did not find

Private School Choice

Does the state have voucher programs?


Florida statutes allow for two voucher programs: The Family Empowerment Scholarship (1002.394) and The John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program (1002.39).

Family Empowerment Scholarship: 1002.394
John M. McKay Scholarship: 1002.39

Does the state have educational expense tuition tax credits or deductions?


No educational expense tax credits or deductions found.

EdChoice School Choice in America

Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?


Florida law states that "A private school may be a parochial, religious, denominational, for-profit, or nonprofit school." Private schools participating in state school choice scholarship programs must abide by the laws outlined in 1002.421: State school choice scholarship program accountability and oversight. This law does not state that school choice scholarship schools must be nonsectarian.

1002.01(2): Definitions
1002.421: State school choice scholarship program accountability and oversight.

Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?

Did not find

Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?


Family Empowerment Scholarship: A private school must "annually administer or make provision for students participating in the program in grades 3 through 10 to take one of the nationally norm-referenced tests identified by the department or to take the statewide assessments pursuant to s. 1008.22. Students with disabilities for whom standardized testing is not appropriate are exempt from this requirement."

John M. McKay Scholarship: No - if a parent wishes to have their student take standardized statewide tests, the parent is responsible for transporting their student to a testing location.

Family Empowerment Scholarship: 1002.394.(8)(c)1
John M. McKay Scholarship: 1002.39(8)(e)

Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?


Family Empowerment Scholarship: "If a private school fails to meet the requirements of this subsection or s. 1002.421, the commissioner may determine that the private school is ineligible to participate in the scholarship program."


Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?

Did not find

Interdistrict School Choice

Does the state have interdistrict choice programs?


"Each district school board or charter school shall allow a parent from any school district in the state whose child is not subject to a current expulsion or suspension to enroll his or her child in and transport his or her child to any public school, including charter schools..."

1002.31(2)(a): Controlled open enrollment; public school parental choice

Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?


"A school district or charter school may provide transportation to students described under this section."

1002.31(2)(a): Controlled open enrollment; public school parental choice

Page last updated: February 2021

Click here to download the State Policy Spreadsheet. Click here to download the State Policy Map Data Memo.

Shape Created with Sketch.

We’re always looking for feedback. To get in touch with our team, please email comments or questions to info@reachcentered.org. Thank you!

The State Policy Map provides a snapshot of school choice policy found in laws passed by the legislative bodies, for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on information gathered from state statutes in fall 2019; data checks continued through December 2020. Information on this site may not include the most up-to-date policy information. The State Policy Map does not systematically reflect state Department of Education administrative policies, rules, or regulations. All content on this site is provided for informational purposes only. Links to third-party websites are for the user’s convenience; neither REACH nor any affiliated entities endorse the contents of third-party sites.

Note: On June 30, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Montana's exclusion of religious schools from the state's tax credit scholarship program was unconstitutional (Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue 591). The responses to the question "Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?" were collected before this ruling and therefore do not reflect any changes resulting from the Espinoza decision.