DeSantis Signs New Bill Expanding School Choice

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[Photo Credit: by Gage Skidmore]

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has now signed a bill that significantly expands school choice in the state.

Eligibility requirements for the Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) and the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC) are expanded by House Bill 1403.

The legislation specifically grants eligibility to dependent offspring of members of the United States Armed Forces who are stationed permanently in Florida or have a domicile in Florida at the time of renewal.

The provision of school transportation vouchers to families through the FES and FTC programs expands the educational institutions in which they are able to enroll their K–12 children. The program was extended to encompass all state residents last year.

Scholarship Funding Organizations (SFO) and parents who are applying for or renewing a scholarship will be subject to specified deadlines in accordance with this legislation.

Renewal students will be given precedence over new students.

In addition, the legislation revises the criteria that SFOs must meet, including the establishment of procedures for gathering parental feedback and reporting standards.

In recent years, school choice programs have generated considerable controversy, as detractors contend that they may impose excessive workloads on faculty members at underperforming institutions.

Conversely, advocates assert that these initiatives afford students greater prospects and compel educational institutions to enhance their standards via heightened competition.

The regulation becomes effective on July 1.

[READ MORE: DeSantis Hits Back After Florida Given Controversial Honor]

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