(The Center Square) — The Florida House of Representatives passed a significant expansion of the state's education savings account program Friday.
House Bill 1, authored by Kaylee Tuck, R-Lake Placid, would expand school choice to all 2.9 million school-aged children. The bill would remove income requirements from the education savings account law and end the waiting list for children with disabilities awaiting a scholarship.
The bill passed 83-27 and is headed to the Senate.
“Governor Jeb Bush kicked off the school choice revolution over 20 years ago and Governor DeSantis will usher in the largest expansion of educational freedom in the country with the passage of HB1," House Speaker Paul Renner said in a release. "The goal is to deliver education in a much different way than the one-size-fits-all model that we all knew growing up.
"The Florida model factors in the unique learning needs of every child to deliver education by empowering parents and students to choose the best way to achieve their educational goals, regardless of ZIP code, race, or income."
The bill, if it becomes law, would allow education savings account funds to be used for tuition and fees at an eligible private school, instructional materials, testing fees, curriculum and tutoring. The account funds could also be spent on tuition and fees for approved preapprenticeship programs and distance education at eligible higher education institutions, fees for choice navigators, and contracted services provided by a public school or school district.