FES-UA (Special Needs) & ESAs
Note: On 3-27-23, new legislation reshuffling voucher programs in Florida was signed into law. There doesn't seem to be anything in the bill that would substantially change how this program works for Florida Unschoolers special needs students. How this legislation may work for Florida Unschoolers students who are not special needs is not known at this time.
There is a summary here: 2023 S0020 AP (flsenate.gov)
SUFS has info here: Legislative Updates
This Facebook group was set up to post updates as they become available: FES & Umbrella Schools | Facebook
There is a chart here made in an attempt to sort through the choices -- it will be updated as more information is available: Chart -- Options & FES Funding
This is one group that is following this legislation as it effects special needs students: (1) FES-UA Parent Advocacy | Groups | Facebook
The FES--Special Needs (UA) program provides funding for some special needs students who are not enrolled in public school.
The organizations that manage the funding, Step Up for Students (SUFS) and AAA, each have their own process.
SUFS requires a letter from Florida Unschoolers verifying that your child is enrolled the first time you apply but your child will not be funded until cross-checks with the public school system confirm they are not enrolled in public school. SUFS can have a substantial waitlist. No letter from Florida Unschoolers is required for renewals.
AAA also requires a letter confirming enrollment with Florida Unschoolers the first time you apply but classifies Florida Unschoolers students as homeschoolers which is not, technically, correct. No letter from Florida Unschoolers is required for renewals.
If you are applying for the first time and your child is enrolled with Florida Unschoolers, request a letter confirming your child's enrollment with Florida Unschoolers by email -- email@example.com -- include your child's name, birthdate, and the grade they will be listed in with the FES program.
For more information, contact SUFS or AAA.
SUFS -- https://www.stepupforstudents.org/
AAA -- https://www.aaascholarships.org/
The FL DOE has some information here -- https://www.fldoe.org/schools/school-choice/k-12-scholarship-programs/fes/
There are also Facebook groups run by parents using this program. Here are a few:
Florida FES-UA Scholarship UNofficial support (formerly PLSA/Gardiner) | Facebook
ADVOCACY for FL FES-UA (formerly Gardiner-McKay) Parent Advocacy | Groups | Facebook