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Funding now available for first round of approved Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts students

 

By Lisa A. Davis

About 2,400 Step Up for Students’ Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts families should have noticed something in their accounts this week: their funding for the 2015-16 school year.

The Florida Department of Education (DOE) has completed the review of first batch of approved accounts, and the remaining eligible student accounts are expected to be completed and funded in the near future.plsa-princess-header_faith_bar

“We appreciate everyone’s patience as the DOE has been working through its process to ensure those who have been approved are not enrolled in any other state-funded programs,” said Elizabeth Watson, Step Up’s director of client services.

The Florida Legislature created the Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts program, a state-funded scholarship for children with certain special needs in 2014. With the PLSA, families may personalize educational plans for their children by directing scholarship funds toward a combination of approved programs and providers including private schools, therapists, technology and even a college savings account. Each approved student receives an average of $10,000 annually.

This year, lawmakers increased the budget from about $18.5 million to $55 million to fund about 4,000 from the PLSA program this year.

Those accounts that are funded, parents and guardians may now access their child’s PLSA ID card containing the student’s PLSA number, by accessing your Parent login.

“The payment process can now begin for the 2015-16 school year, and with our new payment system in place, we expect that the submission to payment timeline to move much faster and be run more smoothly,” Watson said.

Step Up has sent out emails to each account holder, as well as to providers.

Parents are reminded that if there are providers that plan to submit reimbursement requests on behalf of their student, please share a copy of the PLSA ID card with that provider. The PLSA ID listed on that card is necessary to their reimbursement request process.

“Please be aware that reimbursement requests that come from a provider have to be approved by you prior to processing for payment. This approval process takes place within your parent login,” Watson said.

Providers may now submit reimbursement requests for funded students.

Additional questions regarding submitting reimbursement requests can be answered by reading our Provider Handbook.

PLSA applications are still open for the 2015-16 school year. To apply, got to (link).

Many parent questions about the PLSA program can be answered in the Parent handbook.

Anyone who needs additional help with questions or concerns about this, can contact Step Up at gardinerpayments@sufs.org or 877-735-7837.

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