TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The largest proposed expansion of Florida’s school voucher program cleared the House on Friday.
If Gov. Ron DeSantis signs the bill, all K-12 students in Florida will be eligible for taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend private school.
“This bill as I know now has been said many times will forever change the course of education in Florida. It allows for customized education for each and every child in the state,” Florida House Speaker Paul Renner said.
Many Democrats raised concerns that Florida will turn out like other states, where most vouchers were used by students already attending private school.
There was also disagreement over the bill’s price tag.
“Our fiscal analysis between the state and House doesn’t even drive, we’re totally off,” said State Rep. Robin Bartleman (D-Westin).
Despite the disagreement, the bill passed in a vote mostly along party lines, 83-27.
The bill also opens up vouchers to homeschooled students. The funds would be added to an education savings account that parents could use towards a number of school-related purchases.
The Senate is still considering its version of the bill, which is priced at around $7 million more than the House’s estimate.