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Opportunity Scholarship Program

Opportunity Scholarship Program Faqs

 

Definition and Eligibility

The Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) is a school choice program created by the Florida Legislature in the 1999 Legislative Session as part of the A+ Education Plan. The Legislature revised student and school eligibility criteria in 2012. Opportunity Scholarships are available for eligible students to attend a higher-performing public school.

A public school student's parent may request and receive from the state an Opportunity Scholarship for the student to enroll in and attend a higher performing public school if:

  • By assigned school attendance area or by special assignment, student spent the prior school year in attendance at a public school that has been designated as earning a grade "F" or three consecutive "Ds" as based on the statewide assessments conducted pursuant to section 1008.22, Florida Statutes, (F.S.).
  • The student has been in attendance elsewhere in the public school system and has been assigned to such school for the next school year; or
  • The student has been assigned to such school for the next school year.

The OSP becomes available to students at a public school when that public school that has been designated as earning a grade "F" or three consecutive "Ds" as based on the statewide assessments conducted pursuant to s. 1008.22, F.S.

In implementing this program, local school districts are responsible for providing several types of information each year, once annual performance grades are available.

  • Upon receipt of the school grades, the school district is responsible for notifying the parent or guardian of the eligibility of each student enrolled in or assigned to a school that school that has been designated as earning a grade "F" or three consecutive "Ds" as based on the statewide assessments conducted pursuant to s. 1008.22, F.S.
  • The district is responsible for providing school choice information related to student eligibility under the Opportunity Scholarship Program, including offering that student's parent or guardian an opportunity to enroll the student in a public school within the district that has a grade of "C" or higher.

Eligible students have several options available to them, including:

  • Attendance at a higher-performing public school within the district;
  • Attendance at a higher-performing public school in any other district in the state, as long as space is available; or
  • Student may remain at the currently assigned school.

Once a school has been designated as earning a grade "F" or three consecutive "Ds" as based on the statewide assessments conducted pursuant to s. 1008.22, F.S. it is the responsibility of the local school district to notify parents of students attending this school of the school's performance and of their options under the program. Annual school performance grades are released by the Department of Education and can be accessed at http://www.fldoe.org/accountability/accountability-reporting/school-grades/.

Scholarship Participation

After being notified by the local school district that a child is eligible for the Opportunity Scholarship Program, a parent may choose one of the following:

  • Transfer the child to a higher-performing public school within your school district.
  • Transfer the child to a higher-performing public school in another district, as long as space is available.
  • Retain the child in the low performing school.

To make the choice to transfer a child to a higher-performing public school, contact the school district for a list of available public schools. A school is considered higher performing if it has received a grade of "C" or higher.

An eligible student may use the Opportunity Scholarship to continue attending in the higher-performing public school feeder pattern until the student graduates from high school.

Transportation is dependent on the option chosen by the parent or guardian of the eligible student.

  • If a parent chooses a higher-performing public school within the district, the school district is responsible for providing transportation.
  • If a parent chooses a higher-performing public school in any other district, the parent or guardian is responsible for providing transportation.