Florida Gov. Charlie Crist last week signed into law a bill expanding the state’s private-school-voucher program for low-income students.
The measure raises an annual spending cap from $118 million to $140 million in the first year of the expansion and allows incremental increases after that.
The program currently is supported by credits on corporate-income and insurance-premium taxes in exchange for donations. Under the new law, the state is adding three new credits on beverage taxes, oil and gas severance taxes, and a form of sales tax paid by some businesses.
The law will also increase the value of the vouchers now worth $3,950 each by about $140 in the first year and gradually after that until the vouchers reach 80 percent of what Florida public schools spend per student, which would be at least $5,500.
A version of this article appeared in the April 28, 2010 edition of Education Week as Fla. Law Expands Vouchers for Low-Income Students