Florida’s educational choice program for special needs students could potentially see significant funding increases under spending proposals introduced this week in both chambers of the state legislature.
The budget proposed by House education budget chairman Erik Fresen of Miami, would add an additional $13.5 million for Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts, which would bring their total funding to $31.9 million.
The plan, released by the Senate’s education budget chairman Don Gaetz of Niceville,, would expand the funding substantially to $50 million- an increase of more than $30 million from the current $18.4 million set aside for the program in its first year.
The program, created by the legislature last year, helps parents of special needs children pay for a variety of options, including private-school tuition, tutoring, therapies and other education-related expenses based on the needs of the child.
The funding increases would be used to expand eligibility and to cover the costs of the growing number of families that want to participate in the program.