TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Gov. Ron Desantis signed a bill Tuesday that will overhaul the state’s school voucher system.
The Republican-backed bill, HB 7045, expands eligibility for school vouchers. It also repeals the Gardiner Scholarship Program, which serves students with disabilities, and would make the Family Empowerment Scholarship, which serves low-income students, include students with disabilities as well as foster children and children of service members.
The bill also allows more students from low-income families to be eligible for private school vouchers. A family of four earning less than $100,000 a year would be able to enroll.
School vouchers or educational vouchers are certificates of government funding for students. They give parents the freedom to choose a private school for their children, using all or part of the funding.
“These are more robust scholarships that will be able to be dedicated to not just tuition but to other things that impact education,” DeSantis said.
The money would go toward mentoring and tutoring, transportation costs and funding for instructional materials.
“All in all, there’s going to be more opportunities for more students and more families throughout the state of Florida as a result of this legislation,” DeSantis said.
This story is developing and will be updated.