Image 01 Image 03

DeSantis Expands School Choice Across All of Florida

DeSantis Expands School Choice Across All of Florida

“This is a huge thing in the state of Florida and we’re happy today that we’re able to do even more to make people’s dreams become a reality.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis implemented universal school choice across the entire state. The legislation opens up many possibilities for all students, but the aspect that sticks out is the vouchers:

“This is a huge thing in the state of Florida and we’re happy today that we’re able to do even more to make people’s dreams become a reality,” DeSantis said.

“Parents are going to be able to have the ability to get money for their student for their child, and they can do tuition, they’re also going to be able to use it for things like tutoring and other things that can be very important for a child’s development and well being,” he said.

Florida has proven parents are essential in their child’s education:

DESANTIS: “So people have said, ‘Wait a minute, if you give parents a choice, if you let parents take scholarship and go to the school of their choice, somehow that’s going to hurt education performance.’ And in Florida, we’re proof positive that that’s just the opposite of what actually happened.”

DeSantis boasted the legislation keeps Florida in the top spot:

DESANTIS: “State of Florida is number one when it comes to education freedom and education choice. And — (Cheering and Applause) — and today’s bill signing cements us in that number one position, because we will be signing legislation which will represent the largest expansion of education choice not only in the history of this state but in the history of these United States.”

A press release described the bill:

HB 1 eliminates the current financial eligibility restrictions and allows any student who is eligible to enroll in K-12 to participate in available school choice options. The bill also continues to prioritize awards to students with household incomes that do not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty level while incorporating a second priority to award scholarships to students who live in households with incomes between 185 percent of the federal poverty level and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. HB 1 also increases the annual scholarship adjustment for the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities from one percent to three percent to address high demand and wait lists.

The bill also eliminates the current enrollment cap and the exemptions to the maximum number of students who can participate in FES-EO [Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options]. For students who are not full-time enrolled in public or private school or who are not Home Education Program students, there will be a cap of 20,000 new scholarships for the 2023-2024 school year and a cap of 40,000 new scholarships for every year after that.

Additionally, this legislation requires the Office of K-12 School Choice to develop an online portal that enables parents to choose the best educational options for their student. The bill also eliminates the restrictive requirement that students must complete at least one credit through a virtual course to graduate.

The Florida Union threw a hissy fit, claiming the bill will “drain billions of taxpayer dollars away from the neighborhood public schools” and give a ton of money to “to unaccountable, corporate-run private schools.”

DeSantis shot them down:

“One is the amount of scholarship money is less than what would go per pupil for public anyways,” he said. “Second, since I’ve been governor, we’ve raised the amount of funding to our public schools every year. I mean, the idea that they’ve been starved, that theoretically could happen, that’s a choice that legislators and a governor would make, and I push to have more funding for the school districts. And we’re actually going to do for public school teachers, the biggest teacher pay increase we’ve ever done.”

DeSantis said right now there are 1.3 million students enrolled in some kind of choice program.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.



    mailman in reply to NotCoach. | March 27, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    Not practical for the vast majority of people.

      NotCoach in reply to mailman. | March 27, 2023 at 2:42 pm

      Homeschool co-ops.

        healthguyfsu in reply to NotCoach. | March 27, 2023 at 3:34 pm

        The daycare costs alone make that infeasible for most people at the most critical ages for development.

          BierceAmbrose in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 27, 2023 at 3:53 pm

          It’s “infeasible” to pay twice; vouchers funded by edu taxes you’re already paying means your only paying once. Many more people can pay that way — they’re already successfully paying for the school building day care from toddlers through release from High School.

          herm2416 in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 28, 2023 at 12:50 am

          Daycare? You are homeschooling, your children are home.

      herm2416 in reply to mailman. | March 28, 2023 at 12:49 am

      We lived on one income while I homeschooled for 16 years.
      What did we forego?
      The latest in technology, fashion, home decor, etc.
      What did we gain?
      An outstanding education for our children, schedules set by us, classes which were ability specific, rather than age specific, respectful children, close relationships with them to this day, and all three are well-spoken, voracious readers, and have insatiable curiosity.
      If you want to badly enough, reset yours.

      joejoejoe in reply to mailman. | March 28, 2023 at 7:55 am

      Incorrect. Easier than you imagine.

    Ima_Uzer in reply to NotCoach. | March 27, 2023 at 3:43 pm

    I don’t live in Florida, but we’ve been doing so for the last decade.

Democrats can not allow this to catch on. Republicans take note as this is the future.

    BierceAmbrose in reply to Whitewall. | March 27, 2023 at 4:02 pm

    Well, yeah; it topples the edu-advantage of two of their client cohorts. Public school isn’t about advancing anybody. It’s about extracting the resources to advance themselves from people who might otherwise compete on competence with the accidentally in charge. All else is noise and distraction.

    — What’s the advantage of connection and money to the third base kids, if even more of the simply qualified and motivated have access to useful schooling?

    — And how to keep the perennially patronized class down, needing subsidy, if they can learn to take care of themselves. We’re not talking vocational training here. Vast, persistent hordes of public “school” “graduates” can’t read or add well enough to function as labor, let alone clerks, or better.

    Plus, political shock troop donors, and indoctrination cabal, also funded with other people’s money, and they get to feel smug about it all. What’s not to love?

      You are correct, it is about the gravy-train for the teacher union, and they of course contribute massively to the Dem party.

      But it is also about the indoctrination that takes place in these public ‘schools.’

        Whitewall in reply to Paul. | March 27, 2023 at 7:58 pm

        Dems need legions of ‘mobiks’. Let’s deprive them of them.

        1073 in reply to Paul. | March 27, 2023 at 9:40 pm

        Not just the Unions. The contract to cut the grass at schools alone is worth big bucks. The teacher is one of the least expensive items per child.
        Being a school board member is a gravy train.

        Gosport in reply to Paul. | March 28, 2023 at 8:59 am

        Add advanced daycare and/or alternate juvenile detention to their list of functions.

      artichoke in reply to BierceAmbrose. | March 27, 2023 at 9:41 pm

      There is such a thing as pretty good public education. I had it. My kids had it, although it was probably a bit worse than mine due to anti-elitism concerns and dumbing things down a bit. Private schools also swim in those currents and aren’t perfect.

      But it requires parents choosing a good school district and staying involved, especially now.

      Public school teachers make more money than private school teachers, so we should expect to get some teachers there that are better than those in the local private school.

For a corporate owned stooge deathsantis is doing an awefully good job in Florida.

According to sources, some DeSantis backers are starting to back off on him for running for pres in 2024.

    Ima_Uzer in reply to txvet2. | March 27, 2023 at 3:44 pm

    I could see them doing so, as they don’t want to lose him as Governor of Florida.

      Mercyneal in reply to Ima_Uzer. | March 27, 2023 at 6:31 pm

      Story has been debunked today by his backers

        txvet2 in reply to Mercyneal. | March 27, 2023 at 10:01 pm

        I didn’t say the sources were right, and of course the story changes over time. I just repeated what was being reported at the time.

          caseoftheblues in reply to txvet2. | March 28, 2023 at 7:55 am

          You stated it …, wanted to pile on and spread that narrative as basically a fact till called out about it…”story changes over time”…. Pathetic effort at trying to save face when busted

    txvet2 in reply to txvet2. | March 27, 2023 at 4:29 pm

    Bad editing job. Should read: Back off on him running for pres., not backing off as ending support.

    Mercyneal in reply to txvet2. | March 27, 2023 at 6:31 pm

    Nope, just saw two stories today debunking that myth from DeSantis backers are telling him not to run. They say they’re all in. Keep up!

    Valerie in reply to txvet2. | March 27, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    The play here is to use DeSantis to get rid of Trump, and then shred DeSantis. He should go ahead and run in the primary. He should soak up all the RINO and Democrat money he can. Then he should use it 6 years from now to win.

      Great governor. But DeSantis got in bed with the Bush republicans and he committed hari kari.

      The Bush republicans have a base of about ten people. Lots of money, but everyone hates them. EVERYONE.

        On what are you basing that, though? From what I can see, DeSantis is the anti-Bush. In spades.

          artichoke in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | March 27, 2023 at 9:53 pm

          He recently revived the old trope of Russia as just a gas station. (And I said if Russia’s just a gas station, Europe isn’t even a gas station.) As someone with roots from the area who appreciates Russian culture, that’s an insult but it’s also a stupid, low-IQ thing to say. Trump jumped on the opportunity and made fun of DeSantis’ handlers. Probably accurate because my sense of DeSantis is that he’s not someone who would really say that from his own heart. But a definite error of judgment from DeSantis. He’ll learn from it, and he must.

          His Ukraine views are unclear, but now seem more in line with the Bushes. They re likely for universal school choice in Florida, too. Who isn’t, except the likely suspects?

          Would like to see him clarify about Ukraine. It’s one of the most important issues facing us all. Not to mention the billions, some that could go to raising education here.

    artichoke in reply to txvet2. | March 27, 2023 at 9:42 pm

    I just saw he’s leading Trump in polls in a couple early primary states.

      txvet2 in reply to artichoke. | March 27, 2023 at 10:04 pm

      Trump fans will ignore them and by Wednesday will be insisting that Trump is leading every poll by 40 points; but OTOH I don’t believe polls this far out no matter what they say.

    The word is that they already have abandoned DeSantis. They fear that running against Trump in 2024 will damage his brand for 2028. They don’t see him as being ready to 2024. The feeling now is he must declare he is not winning without ruining his credibility.

    Face it, DeSantis is NOT going to run in 2024 and probably ever.

It’s really novel to see a Republican politician actually DO something. Maybe his new bumper-sticker should be: “DO-Santis 2024”

My wife, a retired public high school, Math teacher and long time Trump supporter, who may finally have had enough of all the drama and name-calling: “Let him [DeSantis} keep doing what he is doing until Trump blows himself up.”

    mailman in reply to jb4. | March 27, 2023 at 4:08 pm

    So your wife had had enough of the Democrat created hysteria? Siri, show me someone not serious without telling me who isn’t serious 😂😂

      jb4 in reply to mailman. | March 27, 2023 at 6:57 pm

      I must have explained my point poorly. When Trump is becoming toxic to even some long time supporters, he can’t win the 2024 election! The country desperately needs a Republican replacement for Brandon and any replacement is better than no replacement.

    gonzotx in reply to jb4. | March 27, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    Yes mean tweets

It’s days like this I become anti gun…

Little children murdered at a Christian school 9 years old, 3 at least

Those schools have little protection generally, my granddaughter goes to one portable buildings out in the Country. Parents are their security guards, unarmed however, I mean seriously

I called my daughter because I felt like I was going to have an anxiety attack but in the end couldn’t find the courage to talk to her about it,

Homeschooling, probably only answer at this point.

As a Floridian it is way past time to seeing this type of law here. DeSantis, who use to be my congressman is best suited as our governor and fulfill his second term completely.

    Mercyneal in reply to natdj. | March 27, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    Best suited to lead the United States out of the mess it’s in. We can’t afford four more years of another Dem

Vouchers and school choice are terrific. What I still cannot wrap my brain around is parents that do choose home school… Do they get a check, a voucher, what? This could work great, it could also end up being another huge entitlement.

    txvet2 in reply to amwick. | March 27, 2023 at 10:08 pm

    Home school is a good idea, IF the parents and the child are motivated. In the case of my grandson, it turned out to be an opportunity for an extended summer vacation.

    henrybowman in reply to amwick. | March 27, 2023 at 11:47 pm

    Here in Arizona, you do paperwork and the state transfers funds to an account in the parents’ name.

    What is an ESA? An Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) is an account administered by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) and funded by state tax dollars to provide education options for qualified Arizona students.

    An ESA consists of 90% of the state funding that would have otherwise been allocated to the school district or charter school for the qualified student (does not include federal or local funding). By accepting an ESA, the student’s parent or guardian is signing a contract agreeing to provide an education that includes at least the following subjects: reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies and science. ESA funding can be used to pay private school tuition, for curriculum, home education, tutoring and more.

State schools need the competition. They’ll be better for it.

    artichoke in reply to Valerie. | March 27, 2023 at 9:47 pm

    Maybe so, maybe not, but we’ll be better off. If some tenured teachers get laid off due to declining numbers, welcome to the job market everyone else faces! Why do we tenure teachers, almost automatically, some of them have no more than a very mediocre bachelor’s degree, and their job does not require independent research and publication, and they haven’t got the qualification normally expected of someone we pay for their research, and their tenure is automatic rather than very difficult like university tenure.

    It’s a big distortion of the system that we tenure K-12 teachers. They should just be ordinary employees, and since they’re public employees, they should not be unionized either as FDR said.

RepublicanRJL | March 28, 2023 at 6:14 am

Competition brings excellence. Why do we not all own Yugos? Because they were horrible cars.

1980s brought us the best vehicles in the world with Toyota. Why? They were better and US manufacturers stepped up their game.

Give the legislature credit. Da gov jus signs and what