McKay Scholarship Private School Responsibilities
Effective July 1, 2022, the McKay Scholarship Program will join the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program under the Unique Abilities category (FES UA).
Agreed Upon Procedure Guidelines
Private schools that receive funding under FES, FTC, Hope and McKay are required to submit a report from an independent certified public accountant who performs the agreed-upon procedures developed pursuant to s. 1002.395(6)(o), F.S. if the private school received more than $250,000 in scholarship funds. The private school must submit the report by September 15 to the scholarship funding organization that awarded the majority of the school’s scholarship funds. A school that received more than $250,000 in scholarship funds only through the McKay Scholarship must submit the annual report to the Department of Education.
Requirement for Private School Owners
Effective July 1, 2018, each owner or operator of the private school must undergo a level 2 background screening. The fingerprints for the background screening must be electronically submitted to the Department of Law Enforcement and may be taken by an authorized law enforcement agency or a private company who is trained to take fingerprints. The complete set of fingerprints of an owner or operator may not be taken by the owner or operator. The owner or operator shall provide a copy of the results of the state and national criminal history check to the Department of Education.
Important: This is an attempt to summarize important requirements related to the McKay Scholarship Program. This page is only a guide, and the provisions in law take precedence. Private school administrators are responsible for knowledge of and compliance with the requirements outlined in Sections 1002.42, 1002.421, 1002.40, and 1002.39 Florida Statutes, as well as 6A-6.03315 and 6A-6.0970, Florida Administrative Code, as they relate to private schools participating in the McKay, Florida Tax Credit, Gardiner and Hope Scholarship Programs.
In addition to complying with the private school requirements for all state scholarship programs.
For an eligible student participating in the McKay Scholarship Program, a private school must:
- Provide a program of instruction for a minimum of 170 actual school instruction days with the required instructional hours (determined by grade level per state board Rule 6A-1.09512) under the direct instruction of the private school teacher at the school's physical location with occasional off-site activities under the supervision of the private school teacher.
- Be academically accountable to the parent for meeting the educational needs of the student by providing a written explanation to the parent of the student's progress annually and cooperating with parents who choose to have the student participate in statewide assessments.
- Comply with all state laws relating to general regulation of private schools.
- Withdraw a student from their register of McKay Scholarship students when requested by the parent.
- Notify the Department when a scholarship student withdraws from the school.
- If the private school offers a transition-to-work program, the student, at a minimum, must receive 15 instructional hours at the private school’s physical facility, which must include academic instruction and work skills training and participate in 10 hours of work at the student’s volunteer or paid work experience.
To ensure payments are processed for each McKay Scholarship student, a private school must do the following:
Participating private schools must understand that to receive payment, a student must have filed intent for the scholarship at least 60 days before the payment date.
Participating private schools must submit all student enrollment and fee schedule documentation online at least 30 days before the student's first quarterly scholarship payment can be made. It is important for private schools participating in the McKay Scholarship Program to understand the difference between registering and enrolling scholarship students.
To register a student is to locate the student's information in the Department's database and add the student to the private school's McKay student list. These students will appear under the "Registered Students" heading of your school's McKay Student List.
To enroll a student is to create and submit an individual fee schedule for the student and enter a first date of attendance so that the student receives a scholarship payment. To enroll a student, click on the student's name, then the "Enroll" tab in the upper right corner then follow the link to submit a fee schedule for the student. Unless a student is enrolled, they are not eligible for a payment.
The 30-day deadline for submitting all necessary student documentation and the corresponding quarterly payment dates for each school year are as follows:
The Department of Education may not make any payments for students whose documentation is received after the 30-day deadline.
Subsequent payments shall be made upon verification of continued enrollment and attendance at the private school. Attendance Verification must be submitted by the private school prior to the second, third, and fourth quarter payment periods. The dates for attendance verification for the 2021-2022 school year are as follows:
Students sometimes change schools after a payment has been processed, so if you receive a warrant for a student who is no longer enrolled at your school, the warrant should be returned to the Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice immediately.
The warrant should not be taken by the parent to another private school or transferred from one private school to another private school. The scholarship calculation is based on the original private school's tuition and fees and may not be accurate for another private school.
The Department of Education is authorized to make one payment per student per quarter. Upon endorsing a warrant, the parent and the private school validate that the quarterly payment amount is correct, and any discrepancies thereafter shall be resolved between the parent and the private school. Claims for missed payments must be made by June 1st of the applicable fiscal year.
Private school administrators may log in through the link below to access additional technical assistance on the McKay Scholarship Program and to notify the Department of Education of their intent to participate in the state scholarship programs.