APOPKA, Fla., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Flexibility is a great asset, and the flexibility built into Florida's corporate tax structure has enabled EMBARQ to provide a $9 million boost for the state's Step Up For Students Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Program.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060516/EMBARQLOGO)

At year-end, EMBARQ completed payments of part of its Florida corporate income taxes into the fund, and Step Up For Students (SUFS) reported that the company's $9 million allowed the organization to distribute some 2,300 scholarships to at-risk children statewide.

"The program allows us to target additional support for one of our key areas of corporate citizenship, education, in addition to actually saving Florida taxpayers a significant amount of money," said  Dean Kurtz , state executive forFlorida. "Reports by the state's accountability office and others found that this innovative way of funding scholarships saves taxpayers nearly $39 million annually."

Under the program, companies like EMBARQ can designate up to 75 percent of their corporate taxes to the program, which this year will serve some 25,000 students from households whose income meets federal guidelines for free and reduced-price lunches. Scholarships to state-approved private schools cost the state less than the amount the state would spend on the student in a public school. Since its inception in 2001, SUFS has distributed nearly 116,000 scholarships to low-income students.


Embarq Corporation (NYSE: EQ), headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, offers a complete suite of communications services. EMBARQ has operations in 18 states and is in the Fortune 500(R) list of America's largest corporations. For consumers, EMBARQ offers an innovative portfolio of services that includes reliable local and long distance home phone service, high-speed Internet, wireless, and satellite TV from DISH Network(R) -- all on one monthly bill. For businesses, EMBARQ has a comprehensive range of flexible and integrated services designed to help businesses of all sizes be more productive and communicate with their customers. This service portfolio includes local voice and data services, long distance, Business Class High Speed Internet, wireless, satellite TV from DIRECTV(R), enhanced data network services, voice and data communication equipment and managed network services. For more information, visit embarq.com.

SOURCE  Embarq Corporation 
    -0-                             01/16/2009
    /Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060516/EMBARQLOGO
             AP Archive:  http://photoarchive.ap.org
             PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com/
    /Web site:  http://www.embarq.com/

CO:  Embarq Corporation; Step Up For Students; SUFS
ST:  Florida

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1706 01/16/2009 14:42 EST http://www.prnewswire.com