Parents of students in private schools could get help paying tuition if a proposed bill becomes law. Unveiled on Jan. 19, by Florida House Speaker Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast), HB 1, the School Choice bill, would make all students in Florida eligible for private school vouchers, regardless of their family’s income. In addition, students in foster or out-of-home care would get priority.
The proposed measure would also assign so-called school choice navigators to students to help parents choose the best educational option for their children. In a Jan. 19 Facebook posting, the Empowered Education Florida group praised the proposed legislation. “Choice is about empowering parents and creating competition that raises the level of excellence in all of our schools,” the group posted.
On Jan. 20, the Florida House Democrats said that the legislation would significantly damage public education in the state.
“We should be fixing our school system, not destroying it,” the group said in their posting. “This could be devastating to our public schools and our kids.”
If passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis, HB 1 would become effective on July 1, 2023.