Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R.) on Monday signed into law a universal school choice program, allowing families to apply for state funding to enroll in their preferred school.
Florida’s House Bill 1 will invest an estimated $2.2 billion in school choice vouchers, for which all K-12 students in the state are now eligible, according to National Review.
“Florida is number one when it comes to education freedom and education choice, and today’s bill signing represents the largest expansion of education choice in the history of these United States,” DeSantis said.
House Bill 1 opens school choice eligibility to all students and establishes an online portal to inform parents of their schooling options. The new plan prioritizes low-income students and students with disabilities.
The bill comes as Republican governors in other states pass similar legislation to promote school choice for families. Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R.) overhauled the state’s education system, creating a universal school choice program, raising learning standards, and increasing base salary for educators.
Similarly, the Georgia state House is considering the Georgia Promise Scholarship Act, which would provide school choice vouchers for students in the worst-performing public schools.
Georgia Democratic state representative Lydia Glaize caught backlash 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.
Data from RealClear Opinion Research show that 71 percent of American voters support school choice, with 73 percent of Republicans in support and 69 percent of Democrats.
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