Legislation also consolidates two special needs scholarships and combines them with the state’s ESA program
INDIANAPOLIS—EdChoice, a national nonprofit organization that promotes state-based educational choice programs, commends the state of Florida for continuing to lead the way on school choice with a major expansion of its existing voucher program as well as consolidation of two existing special needs programs under a broader umbrella. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the legislation today.
“We congratulate Florida on continuing to significantly expand opportunities for Sunshine State families,” said Robert Enlow, President and CEO of EdChoice. “In expanding their education savings account, school voucher, and tax-credit scholarship programs, Florida continues to be a pioneer in empowering families with the ability to choose the learning environment that works best for their children.”
The new law will increase the eligible household income cap for the state’s voucher program from 300 percent to 375 percent of the poverty level, which is roughly $100,000 for a family of four. The program prioritizes households at less than 185 percent of the poverty level. The enrollment cap will continue to escalate by 1 percent of public school enrollment annually—about 28,000 new students each year.
The bill signed today also merges two existing special needs programs into the Florida Empowerment Scholarship program, which includes an automatic escalator to increase capacity by about 4,500 students every year. The funds are distributed as education savings accounts that can be used for tutoring and other services.