State Policy Network
Florida Passes Universal School Choice Bill

In a significant win for thousands of parents and their children, the Florida Legislature passed a universal school choice bill on March 23, 2023. The legislation will create an Education Savings Account (ESA)-style program that provides families with funds to pay for education. Florida’s bill gives parents $8,000 to use for expenses such as private school tuition, tutoring, textbooks, and even homeschooling.

American Federation for Children, Step Up, ExcelinEd, and The James Madison Institute (JMI) played a pivotal role in advancing this legislation in Florida. State Policy Network partnered with JMI on government affairs and issue campaign support to help achieve this victory for families. Logan Padgett, the Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs at The James Madison Institute, noted:

“Today, the entire Florida legislature sent a message to the parents of the more than three million students in the Sunshine State—that your voice, your rights, and your choice matters.”

Florida Joins Five Other States with Universal School Choice Programs

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the bill. After he does, the Sunshine State will become the sixth state with a “universal” ESA-style program, which means the program is available to all students in the state. Other states that have universal ESAs are Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Utah, and West Virginia.

Jane McEnaney, State Policy Network’s Director of Education Initiatives, added:

“Florida joins a growing list of states whose lawmakers are responding to the needs of the families they represent. Parents across the country, dissatisfied with the lack of choices when it comes to their child’s education, are demanding alternatives to the status quo. With an ESA in hand, parents are empowered to choose a learning environment that best fits and serves the unique needs of their children.”

Related Reading:

Florida Legislature Sends Universal School Choice Bill To Desantis’s Desk
Washington Examiner

The School Choice Revolution Rolls On: Arkansas Passes The Learns Act
State Policy Network

School Choice in 2023: 10 States to Watch
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Everything You Need to Know About Education Savings Accounts
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Iowa Gives Thousands Of Children More Opportunity With New School Choice Program
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Utah Adopts School Choice Program to Increase Education Options for Students
State Policy Network

Organization: State Policy Network