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Florida Department of Education

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Office of Independent Education & Parental Choice

Office of Independent Education & Parental Choice

 Office of Independent Education & Parental Choice 

FAQs: General FAQs

Florida School Choice | General FAQs
  1. What is educational choice?

    In Florida, K-12 students and parents are afforded the right to educational choice. Florida’s fundamental educational choice options for parents of public school students, as authorized by Section 1002.20(6), Florida Statutes, include:

    • Public school choice;
    • Private school choice;
    • Home education; and
    • Private tutoring.
  2. What is public school choice?

    Public school choice is the practice of allowing all families to make meaningful decisions about how and where their children will receive a primary and secondary education from a variety of public schools and programs.

    In Florida, public school choice options may include, but not be limited to, controlled open enrollment, lab schools, charter schools, schools-within-schools, year-round schools, charter technical career centers, magnet schools, alternative schools, special programs, advanced placement, dual enrollment, International Baccalaureate, early admissions, and credit by examination or demonstration of competency.

    Public school choice options are also encompassed in the Opportunity Scholarship Program and the McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program. K-8 virtual school programs and the Florida Virtual School also provide public school choice options.

  3. How does school choice benefit students?

    All children are different with different needs and different talents. School choice programs allow parents to seek out the best and most appropriate educational opportunities for their children without financial penalty.

  4. Does school choice benefit schools?

    School choice can benefit all schools by introducing the pressures and incentives of the marketplace into the education arena. Studies have shown this to be the case where educational choices are more prevalent.

  5. What is “controlled open enrollment”?

    “Controlled open enrollment” means a public education delivery system that allows school districts to make student school assignments using parents’ indicated preferential public school choice as a significant factor. The controlled open enrollment program may be offered in addition to any existing choice programs.

  6. Are school districts required to offer “controlled open enrollment?”

    No. Florida requires only that school districts design a controlled open enrollment plan. The law does not require districts to implement the plan.