Thursday, June 25, 2020
Tampa, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 7067 which provides more education opportunities for children from low income families to get a great education. The K-12 Scholarship Programs legislation signed today expands the Family Empowerment Scholarship championed by Governor DeSantis by increasing the authorized annual growth of participating students and ensures the educational continuity of students in the program.
“Florida has the most robust school choice program in the nation and I am proud to sign this legislation which increases the ability for even more families to choose the educational program that best suits their child,” said Governor DeSantis. “I want to thank the Legislature for responding to the needs of Florida families and prioritizing education in our state.”
“I want to thank Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for passing this bipartisan legislation that will expand the Family Empowerment Scholarship program and allow nearly 29,000 additional students and families, every year, to make choices that best suit their child’s needs,” said Commissioner Richard Corcoran. “We agree the purpose of education is to produce great and virtuous citizens who can synthesize information, think critically, and make wise decisions. The best way to accomplish this is to give every child, no matter their demographic, the same access and opportunity to receive a world-class education.”
“Today is a great day for education, and for empowered families of all economic backgrounds that want a high-quality education for their children,” said Senator Manny Diaz. “The expansion of the family Empowerment Scholarship program was a labor of love that I am honored to have championed. Florida’s students and families deserve it, especially those that are economically disadvantaged. I want to thank Governor Ron DeSantis and Commissioner Corcoran for making Florida’s students their number one priority.”
This bill builds upon the 2019 Legislative Session, when Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 7070, which created the Florida Empowerment Scholarship Program to provide thousands of students with life-changing educational opportunities for academic and career success. Florida’s scholarship programs combined will serve an estimate of over 150,000 students, from predominantly low-income families.
Highlights of House Bill 7067 K-12 Scholarship Programs include:
- Maintained priority for low-income students.
- Secures continuity of education for students with scholarships so they will be able to stay in the same school.
- New category of eligibility for the Florida Empowerment Scholarship (FES):
- A student who received a Florida Tax Credit (FTC) scholarship in the previous school year but did not receive a renewal scholarship because of a lack of funds.
- Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, the maximum number of students participating in the FES program will annually increase by 1.0% of the state’s total public school enrollment, an increase from 0.25% and equating to nearly 29,000 additional students.
- Students who initially qualified for an FTC scholarship due to their household income may continue to receive scholarship funds even if their household income level increases.
For more information on all of Florida’s K-12 scholarship programs and school choice options, please visit http://www.fldoe.org/schools/school-choice/.