The country’s largest private school choice program may be getting bigger and better.
Florida already has the largest scholarship program in the country, but a proposal introduced yesterday in the Florida Senate aims to consolidate the state’s five school choice programs and expand eligibility to more students. Agudath Israel of Florida welcomed these potential changes.
Agudath Israel has been an integral part of the school choice coalition almost since its inception and has watched as the number of programs and number of families served has grown exponentially. “This proposal,” said Rabbi Moshe Matz, Agudath Israel of Florida’s executive director, “is one more example of how Florida continues to be a national leader in giving children the most educational opportunities possible.”
Senate Bill 48, sponsored by Senator Manny Diaz Jr. (R-Hialeah), will provide direct state funding for the two programs currently funded by tax credits and combine them with the recently enacted Family Empowerment Scholarship program. The bill also calls for an increase to the scholarship amount and removes the current requirement that students must attend a public school before receiving a voucher. Finally, the proposal consolidates the state’s two programs for students with special needs, making it easier for parents to apply and receive funding.
“During these extraordinary times, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature have worked hard to ensure that students have every available option to continue to learn and thrive,” said Rabbi Moshe Matz. “Agudath Israel thanks the bill sponsor Senator Manny Diaz Jr., a true champion for our children, and we are grateful to Senate President Wilton Simpson for his bold leadership.”