The Republican-controlled House on Friday passed a measure that would make every Florida student eligible for taxpayer-backed school vouchers, as Democrats and other critics slammed the expansion as a “coupon for millionaires.”
House members voted 83-27 along almost-straight party lines to pass the bill. The Senate could consider a similar bill (SB 202) as early as next week.
The proposals have sailed through the Legislature, and Gov. Ron DeSantis has pledged that he would sign a vouchers expansion.
Opposition to the House bill centered, in part, on eliminating income-eligibility requirements that are part of current voucher programs. Families would be eligible to receive vouchers under the bill if “the student is a resident of this state and is eligible to enroll in kindergarten through grade 12 in a public school in this state.”
Rep. Marie Woodson, D-Hollywood, echoed many other opponents Friday when she criticized the possibility that wealthy families would receive vouchers.
“This bill is an $8,000 gift card to the millionaires and billionaires who are being gifted with a state-sponsored coupon for something they can already afford,” Woodson said.
The Florida Education Association teachers union also derided the measure as providing an “$8,000 taxpayer funded coupon for millionaires and billionaires,” saying in a tweet that the measure is a “terrible idea.”
Republican supporters have pushed back on such arguments, saying that wealthy voucher recipients would have received the same roughly $8,000 in per-student funding from the state to enroll their children in public schools.
Rep. Ralph Massullo, R-Lecanto, pointed to the potential growth of alternative options as a way to make all systems of education better. The measure would create what are known as “education savings accounts.” The accounts would allow recipients to spend voucher funds on a range of purchases beyond private-school tuition, including instructional materials, tutoring costs and fees for various exams.
“Competition works. Competition makes public schools better. Competition makes private schools better. And the other systems that we actually are encouraging by these education savings accounts,” Massullo said during debate on the House floor.
House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, made the bill a major priority for the 60-day legislative session. Renner cited the spending flexibility, saying that the measure stands to improve “educational outcomes” for students:
“This bill … will forever change the course of education in Florida. It allows for customized education for each and every child in this state,” Renner said after the bill passed Friday.
In another major change, the proposal would allow families of home-schooled students to receive voucher funds.
Home-schooled students who receive the vouchers would be classified as participating in a “personalized education program” under the bill.
Those parents would have to apply for vouchers through what’s known as a scholarship-funding organization and sign an agreement to annually submit a “sworn compliance statement” that would include various requirements.
For example, parents of home-schooled students would have to agree to a requirement that their students take a nationally norm-referenced exam or statewide assessment and report the test results to the organization.
Rep. Bruce Antone, D-Orlando, told his fellow members that “I believe in school choice” — but voiced concerns about the potential ballooning of participation in the programs and the volume of vouchers being administered by scholarship-funding organizations.
“I’m really concerned that, come 2027-28, and I’m just basing this on the staff analysis and their figures, one scholarship organization is going to have maybe (500,000), 600,000 students. That is bigger than Dade County and Broward County (school districts) combined,” he said.
The measure would make other changes, such as requiring the education commissioner to create an online portal to help parents navigate Florida’s “range of school choice options.”
The State Board of Education also would be directed to develop recommendations for the governor and Legislature aimed at reducing “regulation of public schools.”
Meanwhile, a disagreement has persisted about how much the voucher expansion would cost the state. House and Senate staff analyses have included different estimates, with the House giving a ballpark estimate of $209.6 million, while a Senate analysis estimated a price tag of roughly $646 million.
But the Florida Policy Institute, a non-profit group that opposes the voucher plan, estimates that the proposal would cost about $4 billion.
“It is alarming that the Florida House passed HB 1 without any guardrails to mitigate the unprecedented cost and impact this legislation would have on our public schools,” Florida Policy Institute CEO Sadaf Knight said in a statement.
House sponsor Kaylee Tuck, R-Lake Placid, defended the bill against concerns about its potential costs.
“We’ve heard a lot today about the dangers and the economic concerns that come with opening up eligibility to everyone. But I posit you this, we should be empowering every single family and every single child,” Tuck said.
–Ryan Dailey, News Service of Florida
I pay taxes for public schools not private schools or home schooling.
As a member of the public, I fully support parents having the choice of where to send their kids to school and having their allocation of dollars go to the school of their choice!
Same here, Josh. I paid full tuition for my 3 childrens’ education at a Christian school with no help from anywhere while at the same time paying taxes to support the public schools. The public schools did not offer the advanced classes or have any accelerated or gifted programs that each of them needed.
Deborah Coffey says
What?!!!!! I taught for 28 years and never saw a public school without advanced classes or gifted programs!
Been There says
The public schools didn’t have advanced or accelerated programs that they needed? Like what? Public schools offer Advanced Placement classes, International Baccalaureate programs, duel college enrollment. What did your kids need that the public schools didn’t offer? Just curious.
Wow, that’s wonderful! I paid into the public school system via taxes for fifteen years while paying heavily for private school.
@About the photo caption
“Reasons to smile: future weekday warriors get a leg up, yet again. (Eaglebrook School)”
Is there some “other” Eaglebrook School (and tucker carlson clone factory)?
Always ask for real Soylent Green
Deborah Coffey says
The goal: completely destroy all public education. Make the working people and retirees pay for every kid to go to a private “Christian Nationalist” school or learn at home by parents who don’t know x from y.
Nonsense. Are you aware that often private schools often offer more individal attention and tailor the cirriculum to to fit each individual student’s needs? Not to mention that homeschoolers consistently test very high on the standardized tests that are required. You have insulted a lot of dedicated parents who take the time and effort to guide and monitor their childrens’ education.
Deborah Coffey says
Yes, I’m aware. I taught in both public and private schools for 28 years and was an Asst. Principal. I’ve taught quite a few home schooled students when their parents gave up in high school. I mean to insult their parents…unless they’re trained teachers. The home schooled students I received were far behind and socially inept.
Deborah Coffey says
I am totally aware. I taught high school math for 28 years in both public and private schools and was an Asst. Principal in charge of curriculum. Over those years, I taught more than a dozen home schooled students. Every one was behind academically and grossly socially inept. I meant to insult these parents (no matter how dedicated in guiding their children) because homeschooling parents insult teachers by even considering that they, themselves, are better at educating their children in academics than a trained teacher. They’re not, unless they ARE trained teachers. Also, I would re-check your data on test scores and graduation rates with some government agencies that don’t have a stake in promoting homeschooling.
Again, it’s still socialism says
Looking for those socialist handouts, I see. You already have the option of sending your kids there at cost, because it’s private, it shouldn’t be taxpayer funded. But alas, the socialist/communist government of Florida is telling you all you had no choice, but alas, you did and you do. Pay for it with your own money. But you won’t do that so you want socialist handouts. Nice to know you people really do support socialism, when it benefits you.
I am sure the parents who send their children to Bolles School in Jacksonville really need the money.
For all you people whining about how “your tax dollars” are spent educating chidren … Tax dollars are to be spent based on income now? A family making, say, $100k more than yours should not have the benefit of police, fire, rescue, armed forces? Should we have checkpoints at each end of A1A to make certain that the well-to-do don’t get to drive on the same paved roads as the rest of us? Did it ever occur to anyone that the millinaires and billionaires pay significantly more in taxes than you or I, even if the percentage is far less? $8k for a millionaire. Why should you care? They probably paid far far more for other fees, taxes, etc. annually than most of us will in a lifetime. Good for them! I look forward to having that kind of problem, hopefully, someday.
Like one of the congresspeople said, its $8k of “your tax dollars” whether its to a public school, private school, religiously affiliated school, home schooled, whatever. This merely gives the parent (ie: tax payer) a choice. God bless America.
If the local public school wants that kid and that eight thousand dollars (which, by the way, public schools spend far more than $8k), then perhaps they need to perform better. That’s the competition. Be better at what you do. 2500 private schools in Florida have figured out how to perform just as well, usually at less than $8k per kid. They still have to pay for land and facilities, teachers, buses, athletics, security, on and on just like the public schools. They have to compete too. For richer or for poorer.
Look, this isn’t really a program built for Flagler. There’s not really a major issue with the public schools in this county when it comes to performance. But, St. Eliz, Imagine, First Baptist, Palm Coast Comm School, Christ the King, United Methodist, and many others with thousands of kids, where you going to put them? You going to squeeze them all into Buddy Taylor, FPC, etc? You going to pay that bill to expand or build the needed schools with “your tax dollars”? This program is built for the hundreds of thousands of kids in Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami, Tampa, and all points in between who currently don’t have a choice but to send their kid to the local school that oftentimes is nothing better than a prison or asylum. We here in Flagler should be so lucky to not have that insanity here, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist elsewhere. It does. It’s aweful. Lets try to be grateful that there are now choices for every parent with school aged kids in Florida. If one out of a thousand is taking advantage of a handout, I DON’T GIVE A F#@K! It’s the 999 other kids that really matter and hopefully will become a smarter, better person because of my paltry “tax dollars”.
You have completely missed the issue here. School taxes are based on property taxes, not income taxes; don’t mix apples and oranges.. The school taxes were established to pay for what was considered a basic education for the nation’s children which in turn would benefit the public as a whole. By taking funds out of that basic education fund to pay for any desired additional education, you cripple the public school system financially. If you decide to send your child to a private school by whatever name, that decision is yours to make but it does not reduce or eliminate the fact that you need to chip in your fair share to provide the basic educational needs of the public. You are not paying into a fund for your child to draw from as you see fit. If you feel otherwise, you should be supporting a school tax break for all those who pay school taxes but place no burden on the system. You know, all those empty nest types and those who never had kids.
I completely support your right to send your child wherever and for whatever reason you see fit but if it is to a private school that burden is on you and not those for whom those tax dollars were originally intended.
Simply put, the taking of $8,000 earmarked through taxes for public education for any purpose other than the education of the public in general is outright theft. This is not a choice, it is flat out criminal.
No one said anything about income tax. I said *spending* tax dollars based on a person’s income, for which the author of this article explicitly imples that the “rich” aren’t to be benefactors of these tax dollars, even though they’re arguably the largest contributors of those tax dollars. I guess the “rich” should also be paying into separate funds for their own “public” services too – police, fire, et al?
No where in any law or constitution does it delineate that tax dollars for educating our children should go only to public or only to private schools. Not even mentioned. Jesus. No Jesus. Buddha. No Buddha. Muhammad. No Muhammad. Does not matter.
GOD (or who/what ever) BLESS AMERICA!
You really do need to educate yourself on the history of public education in this country. All states have legislation, usually in their constitution, which creates the public school system within their borders and establishes the methods of funding for that system. The most common method of school funding at the local level is through property taxes. This legislation specifically addresses public not private schooling. They use phrases like ‘the general welfare’ and ‘for the public good’; never mentioning ‘the select few’. Again, these monies are for the benefit of the public in general, not the desires of a few to have something more.
Now ask yourself where the money will come from when every kid in Florida is enrolled in a private school and every parent is lined up with a hand out for that $8K reimbursement. What happens to you taxes then?
To put in terms you might understand, we all pay for police protection and have a right to expect a certain level of service from them. If we as individuals want more protection, we live in a gated community with our own security force. We should no more expect the general public to pay for our private security force than we should expect the public to pay for private schooling for our kids.
I don’t need to “educate myself on the history of education in this country”. I was literally part of the team of scholars, lawyers, educators, politicians and philanthropist that helped write and craft the legislation, dating back to the Bush era. Since then many challenges through the state Supreme Court and US Supreme Court have all failed. The programs fall within the guidelines of the laws and constitutions. Don’t like it? Hurts your feelings? Violates you in some way? Find your legislative sponsor and lawyers and start your challenge. Best of luck. Right now and in the forseeable future the program will survive and continue to thrive, not only i Florida, but across the entire United States.
My aren’t we the angry soul. If you were truly a “part of the team of scholars, lawyers, educators, politicians and philanthropist that helped write and craft the legislation, dating back to the Bush era” you would know that FEFP was enacted in 1973; long before Bush was in office. Although we cannot be sure of which Bush you are speaking. You would also know that the enabling legislation for FEFP and its own written purpose very clearly states that the fund is for the education of the public in general – it does not address private schools.
The only thing that I find unpalatable with all this is that people like you think that it is proper for public tax dollars to be stolen for the use of select individuals. Again, this theft of tax dollars is no different than a gated communities insistence that the public pay for their private security guards.
Stretchem: About the public roads: When I was living and working in South Florida, after one of the hurricanes we had, the very, very wealthy Town of Manalapan closed off A1A, a public road, to the public for passage. The police were there, and the road was not closed because of storm damage, it was closed to the public to protect the wealthy homeowners from the public. I managed to talk my way though as I was on my way to work as a public servant. So don’t think the wealthy won’t shut you out, too. The public are not equals.
Good news for one of my colleagues, he has four kids his wife “homeschools”, well sort of, kinda, maybe not so much, but he will be able to receive $32,000 for doing absolutely nothing. He will have to submit an annual “sworn compliance statement” that would include various requirements, which is OK for him as he lies about everything, and “would have to agree to a requirement that their students take a nationally norm-referenced exam or statewide assessment and report the test results to the organization.” Yet, no where does it say they would have to achieve a certain score to be considered “passing” or to continue to receive the vouchers.
Nancy N. says
No, a parent cannot just receive $32,000 – or any other amount – under this scholarship. The money is disbursed only as reimbursement for expenses (similar to submitting an expense report to an employer – you submit receipts and they reimburse you what was spent if the items are allowable). So for instance, a homeschooling parent could purchase things like books or science project materials, etc and then submit the receipts for reimbursement. The money is not just given in cash to parents as “salary” for homeschooling their children. In fact, there are strict rules maintained about not being able to pay family members for services like tutoring through the scholarship. I know this because this is just an expansion of eligibility of existing state scholarship programs, and my daughter has been using the existing program, which was initially for autistic students, for years.
If I spend taxes on private school, I guess public schools will be no more. I thought the difference between the schools were private schools were funded by private dollars. Am pretty sure people of color will not be allowed to attend private schools funded by tax dollars. If that picture at top is an indication I guess girls will not be allowed into private schools either.
Yes thats correct. They will be for Caucasian males only. You have such a racist one narrative warped mind, but its good Pierre allows you to voice your opinion. Thats what free speech is all about. You are free to speak it and we are free to respond to all the nonsense.
Read the story about the school, it is for boys. My mistake.
Florida Voter says
So we will be paying parents to KEEP KIDS OUT OF SCHOOL, based on some “sworn compliance statement” and a few other requirements? $8,000/kid is a big carrot for many families, especially if they have two or three kids.
Destroying schools isn’t a lofty enough goal for DeSantis; he wants to completely stop kids from going to school apparently. At least, this is a big step toward that goal.
Nancy N. says
No, we won’t be “paying” parents. The money doesn’t go into parents’ pockets. It is only given to parents when they submit proof that it has already been spent on education-related items like books, school supplies, and other items from a strict list. So you spend $20, submit the receipt, and they give you back your $20 if they deem the item to be an approved expense.
We are medical professionals and not even close to being millionaires. We own a local business. Last year we paid $45,000 in federal taxes and $10,250 in local property taxes. We have one child and we pay $8,000 to send her to a private school because the Flagler County Schools suck! In the public schools, students fight, make threats, attack teacher’s aides, and push liberal agendas. None of those things happen in her private school. Our daughter reads at a level 3 grades above her own. She excells at math and writing. I am glad we will finally get some our money back that is being waisted on INFLATED Flagler administrator’s pay. We deserve for this bill to pass and I hope it finally brings some accountability to the failing public education system!!
Glad to hear that your daughter is doing so well, but YOU “deserve” nothing. We as a society have an obligation to educate our children, all our children. If you desire something more for your child, it is on you to provide it. If an $8,000 tuition bill is too much for your family to endure at your income level, I would suggest that your budget needs a serious overhaul.
Please remember that ALL children must be accepted into public schools. The 17 year old who attacked the teacher’s aide would not have had to be admitted into a private school. Public schools have to provide an aide for the entire school day for severely disabled children. Private schools don’t have to accept those children.
As for pushing liberal agendas—public schools have to accept LGBTQ children. Private schools do not. Personally, I don’t want my tax dollars going to a school that is not accepting of those children and their families.
One more observation—a person who pays $45,000 in federal taxes probably has an AGI above $300,000. $10,000 in property taxes usually points to a large home and/or property along the water. For me—if I had that much income, I would feel grateful to have the money to pay for a private school and would want my tax dollars to go to public schools who have to accept every child.
Eileen Curran says
BINGO!!! Not “all” students are welcome in private schools! ALL Students in USA are entitled to a free and public education. The public schools can NOT turn “any” student away. The private and charter school CAN AND DO. Renner says that “competition is good for pubic schools” How can you have a fair competition when they CHARTER and PRIVATE get to ” cherry pick” their students and the public schools get everyone else? De Santis has proven once again he is not a fan of public schools!
Just a thought says
This is phenomenal news! All citizens pay taxes. Let their tax monies be allocated to their school of choice for THEIR children.
The public schools are shaking in their boots at the thought of the amount of money they will
lose. Time for them to wake up and step up their game. Competition baby!
Still Socialism says
There was already competition you’re just too cheap to pay for it and want socialist handouts (funded by taxpayers) so you can choose that school for cheaper. Socialism baby. Shake it up. Moocher.
And what of the tax dollars that all of us pay who impose no burden on the school system. Should our tax dollars be refunded? Should we be able to ‘grant’ our taxes to a school or family of our choice? I mean what is fair is only fair, right?
To make the competition fair, mandate that private schools have to follow the same regulations and testing as public schools. It, of course, that will never happen.
Been There says
How can they compete when they aren’t given enough to function on now? This is the GOP setting up for privatization of everything they can. Then the can funnel the money to their buddy of choice.
Eieen Curran says
actually the public schools have vacancies and NO APPLICANTS. No one wants to teach, colleges are dropping their programs. Especially now since charter and private already dont ALWAYS require a degree or an education certification. They also pay less money and have no pension system for retirement. DeSantis is going to hire military vets anyway for the hundreds of vacancies in Florida’s Classrooms.
Can the $8k be used for asbestos abatement at the Madrassa in Bunnell?
I will vote for my truck before I vote for a Republican. Desantis is the worst. He dosent care for my people. Now these days it is hard to become President without the African American vote. Making it hard to teach African American history in school should tell him he has lost our votes.
There are some parents who instill ethical values in their children,
only to have it undermined by other children taught the opposite.
Homeschooling may be just the thing.
The current system produces too many rudderless young people.
Maybe the 8k vouchers are a step towards plugging or slowing the
painfully obvious brain drain in America.
Nancy N. says
My daughter has been on a state scholarship nearly since it started as a “special needs” scholarship over 7 years ago. I share Rep. Antone’s reservations about the ability of the non-profit scholarship funding organizations (called SFO’s) to manage the growth of the scholarships. In the past couple of years, expanded eligibility has already dramatically grown the number of students on the scholarships. At the same time, it has become apparent that SUFS (Step Up For Students, the largest SFO) has become completely overwhelmed with the volume. They are operating on a massively outdated computer system that frequently crashes and errors out under any significant load. The UX is horrific. There is not even an audit trail for parents to see funds moving into and out of their account to be able to check was has been credited and debited. This means parents have no way besides keeping their own ledger to know if SUFS has screwed up their bookkeeping. Customer service for families with issues is virtually non-existent. Employee turnover for (presumably low paid) processing positions appears to be constant, and training is terrible. This means processing of reimbursements is slow and highly inconsistent, with the same item being approved or denied by different staff members from one minute to the next. SUFS also has a long history of retroactively changing what is allowable, without informing parents, thus leaving parents on the hook for purchases they were never told were no longer allowable. In short, SUFS are a disaster. Exponentially expanding the scholarship through this bill would lead to the total collapse of their systems and the obstruction of services to the students who the scholarship was originally established to serve – special needs students. The SFO’s need an overhaul, and more oversight.
@Compared to what?
After these criminals have torn down your post offices, public schools, libraries, hospitals, and eliminated subsidies to the rest of public commons — what in the hell will be left?
Compared to what? Not mentioned.
All the taxes everyone pays. Not mentioned.
Golly gee whiz! Not mentioned.
What the hell is enough? Not mentioned.
Karen Schoen says
[Please comply with our comment policy. Thank you.–FL]
Finally the hard working parents who are homeschooling their children are not paying twice for an education. Tax dollars are for education not location. 47% of Florida students can’t read, write and do simple math. Instead they learn how to have sex and hate you? Why am I paying for that? The best gift you can give a child is to teach them to read, not how to masturbate in kindergarten. Your libraries are filled with porn and how to have sex books. As a former teacher, we know you are grooming them. Call your legislator and make sure this bill passes. Then get your kids out of Public School. Form a co-op with a friend and you will ensure their future and the future of America. KarenSchoen.com
Karen: I went through the Florida public school system, and the stuff you have written here is off the walls nonsense! Who is telling you this crap? Have you been in, and personally witnessed, a kindergarten class where teachers are teaching masturbation? Have you personally witnessed librarians and teachers “grooming” children? Your comment is not only bizarre, it’s unrealistic and unreliable.
I won’t check out your website, and I hope any rational person stays away as well.
Socialism At Its Finest says
If you want your kid in private school, pay for it without using tax dollars meant to be spent on public education. All this choice talk, I want a choice, I don’t want to fund your kids private education. If you feel your kids aren’t getting a proper education, take out a loan and pay for private school, why not?
Many of us did for college and I’m paying that back even while they are paused. And the 10k forgiveness that is being held up by people that received PPP loans (that were forgiven – BTW) doesn’t help me. I owe almost $200k for many years of school so yeah, not interested in paying for your kids private school too since no doubt this $8,000 means an unnecessary increase in my taxes just because you want choice.
You have a choice now, if you really wanted it that bad, you’d make it happen for your kid/s. Now you sound like a bunch of socialist moochers. Ohhh yeah, that’s right, wanting this and liking this is socialism baby, so you’re supporting socialist policies, but that’s okay right, ‘cause it benefits you, right? Yeah, I am. Stereotypical hypocrites yelling from the rooftops that socialism is bad yet can’t get enough of it.
The dude says
Where is this $8 large coming from?
There’s no state income tax. Even if there was, very few mow n blow specialists or pizza bakers here would pay anywhere near that amount in state income tax.
So like most of the $$$ that our magnanimous governor hands out, it’s most likely federal dollars coming from elsewhere.
Dude: It will come out of the Florida Public School system budget, which receives its money from your property taxes. Yeppers, it will go up.
The rich get rich, and the poor get children…left out again.
Nancy N. says
Floridians pay plenty of taxes – and the lower your income, the higher a percentage of your income you pay in taxes in the state. Our tax structure is one of the most regressive in the U.S. Sales tax is one of the state’s main revenues. Almost every time you spend money, you are funding the state government through the payment of tax. And of course, there’s all the fees for things like motor vehicle registration and driver’s licenses and anything else you need to do that involves the state. And finally, there’s the state corporate income tax, which residents pay indirectly because it’s passed on to consumers in prices.
The money comes from the taxes that corporations have to pay on their profits. Corporate Tax Credit scholarships. That’s right. Not from your property or school taxes. People get a clue and try not to lose your minds before you get ALL of the information. FL does not like the program – never have. Thus they have a tendency to omit pertinent information. Yes the argument can be made that if the funds weren’t redirected that the monies would go to the school districts, but do understand that there are other areas corporations can redirect their tax obligations. This is just one where the companies can feel actively involved in the education of our children, and of course, the future workforce of Florida.
@Slow the hell down — slick
In Florida, 99% of companies pay no corporate income tax — with lawmakers’ blessing | Special Report
Do you know anything that’s actually true?
But the ones that do adds up to hundreds of millions to help fund giving parents a choice where to send their kids to school. Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Cisco, HP, hell I could go on and on.
Not even a nice try: “But the ones that do adds up to hundreds of millions…”
Walmart, et al., shared their tax returns with you? Since this am? Do tell.
Slick, you’re confusing a tax cut/shakedown with the actions of a lawful, honest state government.
BTW, instead of your millions of burgers served, this is the latest tax cut (money that has to come from someone) the corporations are limited (limited!) to:
“…The tax credit cap amount for the 2022-2023 fiscal year is $1,091,957,093…”
The corporations and their pet rats (elected Republicans) aren’t funding public education — they’re REPLACING it — with private businesses — and churches. Period.
Enron, what Enron?
God had a hole in its pocket — reward for return of wallet
Going My Way
Let us prey
You really do need to educate yourself. The funding for this will come from the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) which is the primary mechanism for funding the operating costs of Florida school districts. In other words, if 100 kids in Flagler County move to private schools, it will cost the FCSD $800,000 per year. The primary funding sources for the FEFP are state sales tax and local property taxes.
From the 1973 legislation which created the FEFP; the FEFP is to “guarantee to each student in the Florida public education system the availability of programs and services appropriate to his or her educational needs which are substantially equal to those available to any similar student notwithstanding geographic differences and varying local economic factors.” Please note that this specifically addresses public education, not private schools.
Beach Lover says
This is the best news I have read all year! Now parents can choose a school based on the needs of their children. Why would any parent want to send their child to a school where they don’t learn? Who wouldn’t want a school where their children can excel in learning? Public schools have been going downhill for quite a few years now. For those complaining about paying taxes blah blah blah well I pay school taxes and haven’t had a child in school for over 25 years so I am being robbed of my money every year. I am happy to know parents now get to pick a school instead of having to subject a child to a school that is filled with fights, loss of teaching enough math and english and no gifted classes. Also, homeschooled children almost always excel in all subjects compared to public school children. I am thrilled for the parents to get what is well deserved.
Beach Lover: Hummm, I wonder where you get your stats.
I have had no children, but I have paid in all my adult life. You are not being robbed, it’s called society. It’s known as community. Do you not want an educated society that can work and participate in paying taxes as well? Or are you are hoping for a larger spread between the haves and have nots?
You are incorrect about gifted classes, my (step) granddaughter was in all gifted classes in Ft. Lauderdale. She was invited, and went to China twice and stayed with sponsor families, and studied mandarin. Some of her classes gave her college credit while in high school. In fact, when she moved north, she was way ahead of her new classes.
So many comments here are clearly *created.*
Michael Cocchiola says
So, families that choose homeschooling may get $8,000/student/year to have their kids play with their computers at the kitchen table.
Who else thinks this handout is rife for abuse?
Been There says
Taxpayer dollars should not be going to benefit ANY religious institution, bottom line. They should be paying their fair share of taxes like every other organization. Show my one that is truly not-for-profit. They are all making money.
Keep your dogma out of democracy. Separation of church and state.
Your tax dollars are going to educate the future of our country. Someone paid for your education through taxes.
I went to a private catholic high school. My parents still paid taxes. There are still doctors, engineers, etc. coming out of public schools.
This is a continuing hostile takeover of the State of Florida:
1.) Money being diverted to the already wealthy. You know, the dreaded redistribution of wealth.
2.) The destruction of public schools.
3.) The indoctrination of religion on the young masses, choice gone.
4.) The narrowing of minds, not the broadening.
5.) Overwhelming the system with fund distributions.
6.) The making of white, Christian nationalists. Easier to control.
7.) No chance for better public schools with funds gone.
8.) Short sighted bill with funds in question, and not knowing how it will turn out.
9.) Politicians do not care how the rest of the public feels, will probably all have to be reversed at some point.
10.) Political gimmick.
These private schools are not required to accept everyone, so many will be left out. Rather un-American.
Is the $8k pp annual cost of education allowance attached to a SCHOOL or a CHILD? If for a student, then money should travel with the kid to whatever school in the state they choose. If money is tagged first to a school then the money will be invested differently, with the SCHOOL being the first priority.
My taxes earmarked for education are meant to support the kids. Why should parents who have kids pay twice if they seek elsewhere for education? This bill is causing uproar because lots of loud people (union members? administration?) have different priorities.
I support children first and their parent’s choice to make decisions for what/where their kids learn. There is plenty of data to show private educated and homeschooled kids outscore their public school peers. I hope this bill makes a difference for current Florida’s kids & that the adults in public education get their “poop in a group” and make serious change- because kids (and their parents) are choosing elsewhere.
Another one who does not understand the law and public education. The school taxes we pay do go to support the students; they pay teacher and staff salaries, they pay for bus service, they pay for building maintenance and for capital projects. They are not a slush fund for you t use as you please. Our tax dollars, by law, are to pay for public education. To do anything else with the money in the FEFP is simply theft. That money was paid by taxpayers in good faith that it be used as intended, for public education. If you want to send your kid to a private school, be my guest, but pay your own way. It is not equitable for you to take money earmarked (your term) for the public good and spend it on a private whim. It is no different than a private gated community wanting to use public funds to maintain their streets, cut their lawns or provide additional police protection. They have an HOA for those needs. We the public have an obligation to provide basic educational needs, beyond that you must pay for it.
@The Pope, and Pat Robertson send their thanks
There are quite a few comments by people who understand why this is: unconstitutional (the establishment clause) illegal (ibid.) and just goddamn unfair (public schools, like the postal service, serve every freaking address — not just the fortunate and pious fortunate). Bless you.
Nanci N.’s comments are accurate, and deserving of everyone’s attention.
The usual suspects in favor of this Libertarian Party wet dream are shameless. If this shit doesn’t stop, more and more of the children of Florida will have nothing but the crumbs under the Libertarian’s table. Until their maid sweeps them up and puts them in the barrel, they sell to a hog farmer.
Visit the picture at the top of the page again. Smiling faces. You would smile too if you flew home for the weekend to drop off your laundry.