March 28, 2023

Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation yesterday making Florida the fourth state this year to approve universal school choice legislation.  The new law expands eligibility for an existing scholarship program to all Florida families.

According to reimaginED:

Unlike in the original law that established the Family Empowerment Scholarship program in 2019, the program is now open to all students to apply regardless of income. However, families who currently receive scholarships and whose incomes fall below 185% of the federal poverty line will receive first priority, followed by those with incomes up to 400% above the federal poverty line.

Those with incomes above the 400% threshold will be last in line to receive any remaining funding.

In addition to expanding eligibility, HB 1 converts traditional scholarship programs into education savings accounts. Such accounts take funds that would have been directed to an institution and allow parents to use them to customize their child’s education.

Under the new law, the funds, expected to be around $8,000 per student depending on residency, can be spent on approved instructional costs, tutoring and fees for various exams in addition to private school tuition.