Bill to expand school voucher program clears Florida House

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The House on Friday approved the largest ever proposed expansion of Florida’s school voucher program.

If Gov. Ron DeSantis signs the bill, all K-12 students in Florida would be eligible for taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend private school.

“This bill as I now know has been said many times will forever change the course of education in Florida. It allows for customized education for every child in the state,” Florida House Speaker Paul Reiner Said.

Many Democrats expressed concern that Florida would become like other states where most of the vouchers were already used by students attending private school.

There was also disagreement on the price tag of the bill.

State Representative Robin Bartleman (D-Westin) said, “Our fiscal analysis between the state and the House doesn’t even drive, we’re completely locked out.”

Despite the disagreement, the bill passed in a vote mostly along the party line, 83–27.

The bill also opens up vouchers for homeschooled students. The money will be added to an education savings account that parents can use for a number of school-related purchases.

The Senate is still considering its version of the bill, which costs about $7 million more than the House’s estimate.

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