Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Largest School Choice Expansion in U.S. History

Today Florida Governor Ron DeSanits signed HB 7067, which is the is the most expansive private school choice bill ever passed in U.S. history. The bill allows the Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) to grow by at least 28,000 students every year.

The FES was created last year to address the backlog of applications to Florida’s tax credit scholarship for low income children, which serves 100,000 students per year. The FES is funded through the state K-12 education budget, and served 17,000 children in its first year. Like the tax credit scholarship program, the FES empowers low income and working class families with scholarships to pay tuition to the private school of their choice.

The bill signing comes one day after Gov. DeSantis signed into law the largest increase in public school teacher salaries in the state’s history, which he championed this past year. The measure will make Florida’s starting salaries for public school teachers the 5th-highest in the nation.

The American Federation for Children, the nation’s largest school choice advocacy organization, released the following statement:

Statement from AFC Vice Chairman, John Kirtley: 

“The fact that Governor DeSantis signed these two bills in two days shows that supporting educational choice and public school teachers are not mutually exclusive. I want to thank the Governor, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Senate K-12 Chair Manny Diaz, House K-12 Chair Jennifer Sullivan and all the Democrats who supported their constituents’ wishes by voting for this bill.”

Please watch this short clip of the bill signing tweeted out by Governor DeSantis:

https://twitter.com/govrondesantis/status/1276260572015857665

And the full clip here:

https://twitter.com/GovRonDeSantis/status/1276230184874598401