Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed a sweeping education bill Thursday that will allow students to transfer to surrounding counties’ public schools, among other things, according to the Associated Press.
The new law allows for students to attend a school in surrounding counties if there’s space available. While the previous law allowed for students to transfer schools, they weren’t permitted leave the county. The state has for some time now ranked schools and districts using test scores and other data, allowing for parents to more easily navigate the state’s public school system.
“By expanding Florida’s school choice options, parents and students will be able to find an education solution that best fits their needs,” House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, a Republican, said in a statement, according to the AP.
Jeffrey Solochek, at the Tampa Bay times points out that districts there have allowed for students to “border hop” between county public schools for decades now.
A separate part of the bill will allow for charter schools to tap into the state’s set-aside money for school construction. It also changes the state’s funding formula to provide more money to charter schools that serve a relatively large number of low-income and disabled students.
And parents will now be notified of their right to opt their child out of the Pledge of Allegiance.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.