A new bill filed in Tallahassee, if passed, will allow all students in the state of Florida to receive private school vouchers.
All students would be eligible, regardless of income or whether they are in public school or are being home-schooled.
Some lawmakers call this bill the start of a new era of Florida education. Critics worry about where the money will go if the bill is passed.
If the bill becomes law, public schools could see fewer students, and that would mean fewer dollars because public schools are, in large part, funded based on enrollment.
School is in session, and lawmakers will soon be too. Between now and March 7, the legislature will be setting the agenda, and school choice figures to be a hot topic.
Speaker of the House Paul Renner filed the bill that, if passed, would dramatically expand the state’s school voucher program.
“The conservative republicans who are pushing this believe that educational choice is a good option for all students and shouldn’t just be limited to low-income families and families with disabilities,” said Political Scientist Aubrey Jewett.
Jewett reviewed the proposal and said the measure opens up the school vouchers program to all students, K through 12, regardless of their family income.
Children from families with an annual income of $55,500 and children in foster care would get priority. Families would be allowed to spend the money on private school, homeschooling, college courses, and or private tutoring.
No student enrolled in public school would be eligible for the voucher, which currently is worth $8,200 a year. There are about 9,400 kids currently on a waiting list for vouchers
FCGU college of education professor and associate dean, Fenwick English, said wanting to go to a private school and going to a private school are not the same thing. “Students are eligible to be admitted. But that doesn’t mean there’s any guarantee that they’re going to be admitted.”
You can read the bill being proposed by clicking here.