With Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signature on Monday, Florida became the fourth state this year to pass a universal school choice bill into law, joining Utah, Iowa and Arkansas.
“The state of Florida is No. 1 when it comes to education freedom and education choice,” the governor said from podium with the slogan “Education Freedom.” “And today’s bill signing cements us in that number one position.”
The law will give families educational savings accounts worth over $7,000 per student to spend on a variety of education choices, including public schools, charter schools, private schools, home schooling and tutoring.
The state Senate voted 26-12 in favor of HB 1 on Thursday, sending it to the governor’s desk.
Florida is the sixth state to pass such a bill in the last two years.
“Former Arizona Governor Doug Ducey showed Republicans the way last year when he signed into law the biggest school choice victory in U.S. history,” American Federation for Children’s Corey DeAngelis told Fox News about the Florida bill when it was introduced.
“The dominoes are falling – and there’s nothing the power-hungry teachers unions can do about it,” DeAngelis tweeted about the bill’s Senate approval on Thursday.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Kaylee Tuck, who represents Florida’s 55th district and chairs the House Subcommittee on Education Choice and Innovation.
“So proud to have been able to work on this transformational legislation on behalf of ALL Florida families,” Tuck tweeted when the bill recently passed the House.
Tuck has previously made the case for school choice, including for rural districts.
“In the past 10 years, the share of rural Florida students enrolled in private schools has risen 2.4 percentage points, to 6.9 percent. In my district, it’s gone from 4.7 percent to 7.3 percent,” Tuck wrote previously, as reported by The Lion. “Rural lawmakers should embrace choice. Rural families and communities will be even stronger when they do.”
Others celebrating the bill’s progress is yes. every kid. Executive Director Craig Hulse.
“House Bill 1—the largest expansion of educational freedom in U.S. history—is a win for all of Florida’s families,” Hulse wrote in a statement shared with The Lion. “With a nation-leading universal ESA program as well as a part-time enrollment provision, this legislation both modernizes learning and puts power where it belongs: in the hands of families.”