Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a universal school choice program into law, allowing families to apply for state funds to enroll in their preferred schools.
Under Florida’s House Bill 1, an estimated $2.2 billion will be invested in school choice vouchers, which all students in grades K-12 in Florida are now eligible to receive, according to National Review.
Governor DeSantis describes Florida as being “number one when it comes to education freedom and education choice.” He believes that the new bill signing represents “the largest expansion of education choice in the history of these United States,” as reported on his website.
House Bill 1 aims to make all students eligible for school choice and establish an online platform that provides parents with information about school options. Low-income students and students with disabilities will be given priority under the new plan.
Similar legislation is being passed by Republican governors in other states, promoting school choice for parents. Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders recently overhauled the education system in her state, creating a universal school choice program, raising learning standards, and increasing the base salary of educators.
In Georgia, the Georgia Promise Scholarship Act is being considered by the state House. The legislation aims to provide school choice vouchers to students in the state’s worst-performing public schools.
However, Georgia Democratic State Representative Lydia Glaize faced criticism from school choice proponents after she said in a committee hearing that parents who did not complete high school are “not qualified to make those decisions” regarding school choice for their children.
RealClear Opinion Research data shows that 71% of American voters support school choice, with 73% of Republicans and 69% of Democrats in favor.
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