Education A State Capitals Roundup

Gov. Bush OKs Bill on Voucher Shift

By Robert C. Johnston — June 13, 2006 1 min read

Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida signed a bill last week that allows students who received Opportunity Scholarships—which the state’s high court has deemed unconstitutional—to participate in another state voucher program.

Under the new law, the roughly 700 students who received the Opportunity Scholarships, worth about $4,350 each, to attend private or public schools of their choice can receive tuition aid through a separate program that awards needy students vouchers that are financed by taxpayer-subsidized corporate contributions.

The Florida Supreme Court in January ruled that the Opportunity Scholarships, a top priority for Gov. Bush, violated the state constitution’s provision calling for a “uniform” system of public schools. (“Fla. Court: Vouchers Unconstitutional,” Jan. 11, 2006.)

The new measure applies only to students from low-performing schools who received the Opportunity Scholarships in the 2005-06 school year.

A version of this article appeared in the June 14, 2006 edition of Education Week