The Gardiner Scholarship, formally known as the Personal Learning Scholarship Account (PLSA) is a new program available to homeschool students with special needs in the state of Florida. The average award amount is $10,000 and it can be used in a number of ways, including tuition to private school, various therapies, assistive devices/technology, and curriculum, so parents can tailor their child’s education to their specific needs. Currently, the scholarship is open to students from age 3 to 12th grade or age 22, whichever comes first, with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Spina Bifida, Williams Syndrome or Intellectual disability (severe cognitive impairment).
My daughter receives this scholarship and it has been such a blessing to her. Since we’ve begun homeschooling I have discovered how Sakura learns and her learning style would not be supported in a classroom. With this scholarship I have been able to find the resources I need to help her learn in a meaningful way and not have to worry about how in the world to pay for it. She is growing and learning at her own pace, without exaggerated expectations, and with all the support she needs because of this scholarship. We are truly grateful.
If you are a resident of Florida and have a child who may qualify for this scholarship please visit StepUpForStudents.org to learn more.
UPDATE: The eligibility requirements for the scholarship has expended to include rare diseases as defined by the National Organization for Rare Disorders, anaphylaxis, deaf, visually impaired, dual sensory impaired, traumatic brain injured, hospital or homebound as defined by the rules of the State Board of Education and evidenced by reports from local school districts, or three, four or five year-olds who are deemed high-risk due to developmental delays.