Heads Up, Colorado: Demand for Florida Scholarship Tax Credits Growing Fast

Check out this great story from yesterday’s Miami Herald, which shares some spectacular news about the growing number of families taking advantage of Florida’s scholarship tax credit program:

The number of students attending private schools on tax-credit scholarships jumped 27 percent last year, reaching a record high of 51,075 kids, according to the state Department of Education. The dramatic spike was the result of 2012 legislation increasing the amount of tax credits available. The bill prompted corporations to donate more money.

There was also a surge in parent demand, said Doug Tuthill, of Step Up for Students, the non-profit that administers the scholarships.

“So many parents are interested that we’re struggling to keep up,” Tuthill said. [link added]

Hooray: News to celebrate from the Sunshine State! That definitely fits with what I’ve told you before about scholarship tax credit programs growing in popularity as they age. (Which might also explain why some interests fight so hard to stop legislatures from enacting such programs, and work in places like New Hampshire to try to nip them in the bud.)

But seeing even one of the nation’s oldest and largest scholarship tax credit programs still not able to keep up with demands from lower-income families, that kind of breaks your heart. One can only imagine more and more Colorado students and parents like these, who also could take advantage of K-12 scholarships:

That video comes from the fantastic Colorado Kids Win website. We know there are more kids in need than there are scholarships available. Since a Colorado tax credit program would follow the lead of other states in encouraging more donations to help them, why aren’t we already moving quickly in that direction?

Overwhelmingly, parents know their kids best and want what’s best for them. We have every reason to believe that opening the doors of opportunity only will benefit students by better serving their needs and will help parents to take greater charge of their children’s education, to work hand-in-hand with educators in a setting they have chosen. A scholarship tax credit program for Colorado sounds like another true Win-Win!