WATCH: Ron DeSantis Signs School Choice Legislation, Expanding It to ‘Every Single Student’ in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed key educational legislation on Monday, expanding school choice to “every single student in the state of Florida.”

Speaking at Miami’s Christopher Columbus High School, DeSantis announced the benefits of the historic legislation, which would expand school choice to every child in the state.

“It does that by eliminating the current financial eligibility restrictions and allowing any student who is a resident of Florida and is eligible to enroll in K-12 to participate in school choice scholarships,” he said, noting that there will be a “preference for low and middle income families.”

“But at the end of the day, we believe that the money should follow the student and it should be directed based on what the parent thinks is the most appropriate education program for their child,” the governor said, further explaining that the measure also eliminates the “current enrollment cap and the exemptions to the maximum number of students who can participate in the family empowerment scholarship for educational opportunities.”

He continued, highlighting other aspects of the bill:

We are also in this bill increasing the number of scholarships for students with unique abilities, and we’re also eliminating the requirement that at least one of 24 credits needed to graduate will be complete through online learning. At the end of the day, learning in person is great, and we should not force any credits to be online, although you do have the option to do that. We’re also requiring the Office of K-12 School Choice to develop an online portal that enables parents to choose the best educational options for their student. And that’s not just in this bill limited to choice.

We’re actually doing more things, and, in particular, we’re expanding opportunities for teachers by eliminating barriers and red tape in the profession, including by waiving the general knowledge requirement for teachers that have been in the classroom for three years of supports and have been rated effective for the last three years, expanding the length of a temporary teaching certificate from three years to five years, and requiring the State Board of Education with input from relevant stakeholders to recommend additional repeals and revisions to the education code to reduce regulation on public schools.

“So this bill is a major game changer,” he continued, asserting that Florida is leading the country in terms of educational choice:

Notably, this comes on the heels of DeSantis signing the Parental Rights in Education bill into law one year ago, in March 2022. He has continually spoken against critics of that specific measure, as they have falsely labeled it “Don’t Say Gay.” In reality, the measure prohibits classroom discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity for children in kindergarten through third grade. The Florida Board of Education is considering expanding that aspect to all grades.

Related — DeSantis Debunks “Don’t Say Gay” Lie: Opponents of Parental Rights Bill Want to Sexualize Kindergartners:

Ron DeSantis / Rumble


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