Price tag still missing on GOP plan to expand school vouchers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — All K-12 students in Florida may soon be eligible for an in-state private school voucher.

Republican lawmakers advanced a universal school voucher bill on Tuesday, bringing the largest expansion of school vouchers in Florida history one step closer to reality.

The program would remove the income restrictions currently in place, opening the school voucher program to all students.

Democrats are raising concerns about the bill’s price tag, which is still unclear. Some suggested the bill should not move forward without considering how much it could potentially cost taxpayers.

“It’s unfortunate that when it comes to education we’re seeing this side of it and nobody can supply the data. If this is going to set the precedent then what else are we going to do?” State Sen. Chevrin Jones said.

Regardless, the bill got through its Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Tuesday, even without the numbers.

State Sen. Corey Simon, the bill’s sponsor, said, “I expect they will be before our next committee, but at this point I can’t give you that timeline.”

With the GOP majority in the legislature, the bill will likely reach the governor’s desk.

Gov. Ron DeSantis expressed reservations about the aspect of the bill potentially giving state funding to families who can already afford private tuition.

“If you have a family with a lot of income, they don’t need it,” DeSantis said Tuesday after his state of the art address.

DeSantis said it was not a “dealbreaker” and that he would sign the bill when it arrived at his desk.

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