McKay Scholarship: Empowering Education Choices for Florida Students with Disabilities

McKay Scholarship program is named after James McKay, a former Florida Senator and advocate for students with disabilities.

This scholarship funds students with disabilities to attend private or out-of-zone public schools in Florida.

It also offers Florida students a choice in their education, enabling them to access a wider range of educational opportunities.

McKay Scholarship

Objectives of McKay Scholarship

The program’s primary objective is to support students with disabilities by providing financial assistance to attend schools that best meet their needs.

Through the McKay Scholarship Program, these students have the opportunity to receive a tailored education that can cater to their unique requirements and preferences.

This program plays a crucial role in empowering students and their families to make informed decisions about their education.

It ensures that students with disabilities have access to quality educational options that can help them reach their full potential.


Students qualify for the McKay Scholarship by possessing either an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 Accommodation Plan.

Additionally, they need to have been enrolled in a Florida public school during the previous school year.

Foster child or the child of an active duty military member who has moved to Florida due to permanent change of station orders.

McKay Scholarship

Who Is Funding McKay Scholarship Program?

The Florida Department of Education funds the McKay Scholarship.

The scholarship amount varies based on the student’s grade level and the average per-pupil funding for Florida public schools.

For the 2022-2023 academic year, scholarship amounts range from $7,223 for kindergarten students to $7,818 for high school students.

How To Apply

To begin the McKay Scholarship application process, students need to submit an intent to enroll in a private school or a public school outside of their zoned district.

Eligibility for the scholarship is assessed by the public school district.

If the student meets the criteria, the public school district will provide a scholarship certificate to the student’s family.

Once the family receives the scholarship certificate, they can use it to enroll the student in a private school or a public school outside of their zoned district.

Subsequently, the private or public school will redeem the scholarship certificate with the public school district.

What Replaced The McKay Scholarship In Florida?

In 2022, the McKay Scholarship Program merged into the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program (FES) under the Unique Abilities category.

This integration allows McKay Scholarship recipients to access additional choices within the FES UA education savings account model, enabling them to tailor their child’s education to their specific needs.