Governor DeSantis Signs Florida School Choice Expansion Bill

The American Federation for Children applauds Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signing into law today the landmark legislation that vastly expands Florida’s need-based and special needs scholarships so that more children will have access to educational options.

Florida leads the nation in the number of families accessing choice programs and this expansion signed by Governor DeSantis today reassures families desperately awaiting a scholarship. They have the opportunity in future years to have the very best educational options for their children.

This bipartisan legislation, a major priority of Governor DeSantis, will be a lifesaver for families looking for other options for their children’s K-12 grade educational experiences. Students with learning disabilities will have more options in getting an individualized educational plan to meet their unique needs. And families who may be economically disadvantaged awaiting a scholarship, beginning this fall, will have the chance to enroll their child in a school of their choice.

Statement from Governor Ron DeSantis:

“This legislation creates historical levels of flexibility in both schooling and educational services for millions of low-income families and families of students with unique abilities. There will be more opportunities for families and more children throughout the state of Florida as a result of this legislation. That is a good thing. Florida is not a standing pact. We are on the offense when it comes to more opportunities.”

 

Details:

· SB48/HB 7045 streamlines Florida’s choice programs and application processes

· All students with disabilities enrolled in the Family Empowerment Scholarship program will be able to access a customized education

· Expands household income eligibility as well as increases the number of scholarships available each year so that tens of thousands of more children will have access to educational choices

· Increases the funded scholarship amounts by aligning the awarded amount with the public school per-student funding levels

· Need-based scholarships may be used for digital devices and internet access