Zobeyda Morales felt helpless when her daughter Kyra struggled in kindergarten.
“She wasn’t reading,” said Morales, a single mother of four. “I wanted something better for her, but I couldn’t afford a private school.”
That was until Morales learned about Florida’s scholarship program for children from low-income families. The scholarships are funded by corporate donors, which receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for their contributions.
Morales applied and was accepted. She enrolled her kids in La Progresiva Presbyterian School in Little Havana.
She wasn’t alone. 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.