Florida legislation touted as ‘largest’ expansion of school choice in the state: ‘Empowering parents’

A monumental move for school choice legislation in Florida finds K-12 education savings accounts will be expanded to all Sunshine State students.

Speaker of the Florida House Paul Renner announced on Twitter that the “largest” school choice legislation had been filed Thursday. 

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Florida House Bill 1 would provide access to education savings accounts and expand eligibility to children with “unique abilities.” The speaker said that the legislation will empower parents. 

“Almost 25 years ago, under the direction of Gov. @JebBush, Florida became a leader in educational freedom and opportunity by starting the school choice movement. It’s time to finish the job. The Florida House is dedicated to expanding choice to every student in Florida,” Renner tweeted.

“HB 1, filed today by Chair @KayleeTuck2, marks the largest expansion of school choice in the history of our state. Once again, Florida leads the way in empowering parents by giving them the ability to make informed decisions about their child’s education,” he said in another tweet.

The speaker also tweeted a video explaining that the school choice legislation is intended to give students and parents the right to customize education.

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The latest example of a significant passing of school choice legislation happened in Arizona under Gov. Doug Ducey, who signed the most “monumental” education savings account program in the United States.

Arizona became the first state in the nation to pass education scholarship accounts, expanding the program to all 1.1 million K-12 students in the state. Other red states followed suit pushing school choice legislation.

Education policy experts sent Fox News Digital reactions to the latest news in Florida. 

“Former Arizona Governor Doug Ducey showed Republicans the way last year when he signed into law the biggest school choice victory in U.S. history. Now it appears red states like Florida are competing with one another by seeking to expand parental rights in education,” American Federation For Children Corey DeAngelis told Fox News Digital.

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“That’s the kind of friendly competition I can get behind. All red states should follow suit and empower all families with school choice,” DeAngelis said.

“There’s a reason Florida ranked #1 in the nation on the Heritage Foundation’s Education Freedom Report Card. Florida has long been a pioneer in providing families with education opportunity. Extending eligibility for the Family Empowerment Scholarships to all students would cement Florida’s standing is first for education freedom,” Jason Bedrick, a research fellow at Heritage Foundation, said.

Private school choice, or providing all families with alternatives to the public schools they’re zoned for, can be expanded through multiple avenues at the state level, including school voucher programs, tax-credit scholarship programs, individual tuition tax credit programs and deductions, and education savings accounts. Charter schools, magnet schools and homeschooling are also forms of school choice programs. 

School choice became a salient issue after the COVID-19-induced lockdowns sparked a conversation on the scope of the government’s authority and the type of content that should be taught to children from public school curricula. 

Source – https://www.foxnews.com/media/florida-legislation-touted-largest-expansion-school-choice-state-empowering-parents

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