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 Brevard 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 or a public school, 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.
Public School Requests
After submitting the online request at the website above, the parent needs to contact a representative of the School Board of Brevard County at 321-633-1000 ext. 503. The School Board representative will work with the parent to review the parent’s public school choices. The deadlines for intent to a public school choice filing must be at least 30 calendar days prior to the first day of the school year or 30 calendar days prior to the beginning of the second semester. The deadline dates to apply for a McKay Scholarship to a public school for the 2009-2010 school year are July 10, 2009 and December 5, 2009. Students can only enroll in their selected McKay Scholarship public school at the beginning of the school year or the beginning of the second semester.
Forfeiture of the McKay Scholarship
A student will lose his/her eligibility for the McKay Scholarship to a private school if:
- the student returns to a public school by enrolling and attending a public school, including a Charter School. This includes taking any class at a public/Charter school while on a McKay Scholarship to a private school;
- the student enrolls in a public school during the summer months (summer school), for any class even if for non-credit;
- the student enrolls in a public school prior to the beginning of their attendance at the private school in the school year for which the McKay Scholarship to a private school has been approved. For example, if public school begins August 20th and private school begins September 1st, the student cannot enroll in the public school on August 20th and then take a McKay Scholarship to go to the private school on September 1st of the same school year;
- the student is enrolled in a Department of Juvenile Justice commitment program for an extended time which the District has defined as 15 consecutive calendar days or more; or
- the student participates in a home education (home school) program.
If you have any questions in regards to the McKay Scholarship please call 321-633-1000 ext. 504.