Florida lawmakers sent Gov. Ron DeSantis a Republican-crafted bill last week to create a new voucher program for students to attend private schools, including religious ones, using taxpayer dollars traditionally spent on public schools.
The GOP-led House voted largely along party lines to authorize the $130 million Family Empowerment Scholarship program. It would be available to as many as 18,000 students in its first year, limited to families of four with annual incomes of $77,250 or less.
DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law.
Democrats contend the program would strip away money from cash-strapped public schools.
Florida already has other voucher programs, including a tax break for businesses that provide private school scholarships for low-income students. Other programs provide vouchers for students with special needs, those who are disabled, and those who are bullied.
A version of this article appeared in the May 08, 2019 edition of Education Week as Florida Lawmakers Approve Measure to Expand Vouchers for Private Schools