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Tipsheet

DeSantis Signs Massive School Choice Expansion Bill Into Law

AP Photo/Ron Johnson

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law on Monday expanding school choice vouchers to all students in the state of Florida.

“Today’s bill signing cements us in that number one position because we’ll be signing legislation which will represent the largest expansion of education choice not only in the history of this state but in the history of these United States. That is a big deal,” DeSantis said at the bill signing on Monday.

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“Florida’s ranked No. 1 for parental power, according to the Center for Education Reform. We’re ranked No. 1 for education freedom, according to The Heritage Foundation. We are No. 1 for state spending on private school choice and we’re No. 1 for tax credit scholarship enrollments, ESA enrollments and in other types of voucher enrollments,” he added. 

The bill, H.B. 1, states that “[a] parent of a student may request and receive from the state…if the student is a resident of this state and is eligible to enroll in kindergarten through grade 12 in a public school in this state.”

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Townhall previously covered how school choice programs helped elevate Florida from being one of the lowest-ranked for education into one of the best. On top of that, DeSantis has passed legislation protecting parental involvement in education and outlawing classroom lessons that involve sexual orientation and gender identity curriculum for young children. 

“Florida is number one when it comes to education freedom and education choice, and today’s bill signing represents the largest expansion of education choice in the history of these United States. When you combine private scholarships, charter schools, and district choice programs, Florida already has 1.3 million students attending a school of their choosing,” DeSantis said in a statement. “These programs have been instrumental in elevating student achievement over the past twenty years.”

Other states that have prioritized school choice include Arizona, Virginia, Arkansas, and Iowa. The same states are working towards protecting parents' rights in education as well.

"We are very happy for the families of Florida because every parents, regardless of zip code, deserves options for their children," Erika Sanzi, director of outreach at Parents Defending Education, told Townhall.

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Several prominent Democrats, including President Joe Biden, either sent their children to private school or attended private school themselves while being ardently against school choice legislation, which Townhall reported. On the campaign trail, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in an interview that “vouchers and for-profit charter schools have no place in this state.” Last week, teachers and school staffers in Los Angeles went on strike, canceling classes for hundreds of thousands of students.

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