(Hollywood, FL) – Teach Florida applauds the Florida legislature for passing a major expansion of school choice, including the new Family Empowerment Scholarship, this Tuesday, April 30. The bill now heads to Governor Ron DeSantis for his signature.
In addition to the more than 100,000 students on the Florida Tax Credit program, the new Family Empowerment Scholarship will fund 18,000 additional students from low-to-middle income families at approximately $7,000 each.
For the first time in Florida, middle income families are eligible so that a family of six earning up to $103,770 will qualify. To start, the program is open to students entering kindergarten or leaving public school.
A major feature of the program is that the scholarships will be funded directly from the state’s education budget, as opposed to coming from tax credit donations, on the principle that the money follows the student.
“Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature’s strong commitment to expand school choice scholarships will benefit the Jewish community and all Florida students,” said Dr. Allan Jacob, Chair of Teach Florida.
In another boost for the Jewish community, the bill amends the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program to eliminate partial scholarships for those in higher income brackets. All recipients will now receive a full scholarship, a move that Teach Florida also actively supported.
“Because supporters of Jewish education came together to vote, develop strong relationships with key legislators, advocate and build a school choice coalition, Teach Florida was able to help get this bill over the finish line in the legislature’s closing days,” said Mimi Jankovits, Executive Director of Teach Florida. “We thank Governor DeSantis, Senator Manny Diaz, Representative Jennifer Sullivan, President Bill Galvano and Speaker Jose Oliva for their dedication to the giving every Florida student the education that is best for them.”
Teach Florida is a member of the Teach Coalition, the driving force nationwide to deliver more government funding to nonpublic schools. More than $1.5 billion in state funding for nonpublic schools has been delivered in the last seven years. Teach Coalition is a project of the Orthodox Union. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, (954) 406-6336, www.teachcoalition.org/fl.