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Florida House Announces Customizable School Choice for Parents and Students

The proposed legislation would allow more students to participate in school choice programs, giving every parent the freedom to customize their children's education with a learning program that fits their unique needs.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Today, Florida House Speaker Paul Renner announced the filing of landmark legislation (HB 1, 2023) that will provide expanded access to school choice options. More children with unique abilities will qualify for school-choice scholarships under the new law.

“Florida has been a leader in the school choice movement, with more students participating in choice programs than any other state,” said Speaker Paul Renner. “School choice empowers parents, creates competition, fosters innovation, and raises the level of excellence in all of our schools. HB 1 will give every parent the freedom to customize their children's education with a learning program that fits their unique needs.”

The bill, sponsored by Choice & Innovation Subcommittee Chair Kaylee Tuck (R- Lake Placid), would revise the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program and the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, two popular options for families who wish to send their children to private schools.

The legislation converts the state's scholarships into an education saving account (ESA) that all families could use for private school tuition, homeschool curricula, textbooks, tutoring, special-needs therapy, and more.

“School choice helped elevate Florida from being one of the worst education states in America to being ranked third in K-12 achievement,” said Subcommittee Chair Kaylee Tuck.

Tuck believes that parents know the abilities and needs of their children better than anyone else. The bill would increase access to innovative education resources, allowing parents to customize their child’s education plan.

“Empowering parents and students with customizable learning options will not only boost educational outcomes for individual students but will create competition that raises the bar for schools across the state. I appreciate Speaker Renner for allowing me the opportunity to sponsor this significant legislation that will provide each Florida student access to a first-rate education,” Tuck added.

Florida has been a leader in school choice options since 1999. The Department of Education has implemented some of the most flexible programs in the nation, including the Family Empowerment Scholarship and Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for private schools, the McKay Scholarship for students with disabilities, the Hope Scholarship for children experiencing bullying in public schools, and other reading scholarships.

To learn more about available school choice options for the 2022-2023 school year, visit the Florida Department of Education’s website.