Editor’s note: This commentary from Danny Aqua, executive director of Teach Florida, appeared Monday on sun-sentinel.com.
Last month, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law the largest expansion of school choice in U.S. history. The legislation, a top priority of House Speaker Paul Renner, expands the state’s scholarship program to all K-12 students in Florida. It’s nothing short of transformational.
But what does that mean for you and your family? The simple answer is: More options and more opportunities.
Beginning as early as this summer, every student in Florida will have the freedom to access a scholarship enabling them to attend a school that works best for them. If your child is one of the thousands of students with unique abilities or disabilities who were on a scholarship waitlist, there is now funding available to clear that waitlist.
Before discussing the technical details of applying, let’s talk about why this year’s legislative budget proposals benefit not just scholarship students, but everyone.
The House and Senate each proposed a record $2.1 billion in spending increases for K-12 education — the largest funding increase in Florida history. It’s so groundbreaking that both Republicans and Democrats spoke in support of the proposal. So did several school districts.
Students are the real winners, because these proposals simultaneously solidify Florida’s commitment to provide students with every possible option through school choice while also strengthening funding for public schools.
But how is this possible?
In Florida, we have a booming economy, healthy state reserves and revenue projections that continue to shatter expectations. It’s the result of years of smart decisions by elected officials to put us in a strong fiscal position. There is no need to make difficult trade-offs.
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