The Florida Legislature concluded the 2017 legislative session last week with some big wins for Jewish schoolchildren by expanding school choice and introducing security funding. The expansion of the tax credit scholarship program will significantly increase the funding per student to $6,354 in elementary school and $6,931 in high school.
The Legislature also expanded the Gardiner scholarship program and provided additional funding. The education savings accounts for children with special needs will now be available to children with traumatic brain injuries, and who are visually or hearing-impaired, among other disabilities.
Finally, the Legislature took a bold step this year by appropriating more than $650,000 to address the security needs of Jewish schools. Agudath Israel of Florida director Rabbi Moshe Matz traveled to Tallahassee earlier in the session to encourage legislators to support the new measure. Agudath Israel of Florida thanks Representative Fine and Senator Book for their leadership and to Teach Florida for initiating that effort.