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Florida Leads the Way in Providing Options for Low-Income Parents, New School Choice Yearbook Reveals

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More Florida students are participating in publicly funded private school choice programs than any other state in the country, according to the School Choice Yearbook 2011-12—the annual award-winning publication offering the most comprehensive data on the nation's 27 private school choice programs—released yesterday by the Alliance for School Choice.

The Sunshine State continues to set the pace for school choice enrollment nationwide, becoming the first state in history to eclipse 60,000 participants. The majority of those students—37,998 in all—are a part of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, a model for scholarship tax credit programs across the country, which benefits children in low-income families. This year saw an increase of more than 3,000 children participating in the program, while Florida's John M. McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program—the largest special needs program nationwide— increased by almost 700 students.

Both programs owe this year's increased enrollment to expansions that mirror national growth. More than 210,000 students across the country now participate in publicly funded private school programs, and 11 different programs were strengthened to expand the size and scope of educational options for families that need help most.

Additional information can be found in the Yearbook, available for download at www.YearofSchoolChoice.com.

"The growth of Florida's school choice programs was an integral part of the broader growth in reform and educational options last year," said John Kirtley, vice chairman of the Alliance for School Choice and Chairman of Step for Students, which administers the scholarship tax credit program.  "Much of the success in 2011 can serve as guidance as we aim to empower even more families in the year ahead."

The Alliance's annual Yearbook, entitled School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice, is a collection of the nation's most accurate data on private school choice programs across the country.  The 2011-12 edition contains an analysis of trends and information regarding school choice, a directory of the accountability provisions and requirements for each of the nation's 27 private school choice programs, and a chronicle of the events from the past year.

The Alliance for School Choice is a leading national organization promoting school choice. For more information, or to download the Yearbook, visit www.AllianceForSchoolChoice.org.

SOURCE Alliance for School Choice

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