By: Sarah Katherine Massey, Director of Talent, Education & Quality of Life Policy, Florida Chamber of Commerce
This session, the legislature has been hard at work on what Speaker Paul Renner deems the “largest expansion of school choice in the nation.” HB 1, creating universal school choice, was signed by the Governor on March 27. Speaker Renner has highlighted that this legislation “expands school choice to all 2.9 million school-aged children, regardless of race, income, background, or zip code, while prioritizing low income, then middle-income students.”
This legislation will allow families to create tailored education options rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Tailored education options allow all parents and students to seek out learning environments designed to maximize individual student success. Boosting educational outcomes leads to the development of a robust talent pipeline necessary for a competitive workforce, which is essential for Florida to fulfill its competitive potential as a top 10 global economy by 2030.
In addition to universal school choice, HB 1 includes deregulatory measures that will set public schools up for success by finally cutting onerous red tape. To address the teacher shortage, the legislation includes additional pathways to attaining a teacher certification by recognizing two years of teaching with a temporary certification and offers student transportation flexibility to improve efficiency, while maintaining student safety.
The Florida Chamber believes that a child’s zip code should not determine student success and education outcomes. This bill takes significant steps towards accomplishing three Florida 2030 Blueprint goals:
- 100% of 3rd graders reading at or above grade level;
- 100% of 8th graders reading and performing math at or above grade level;
- 95% of students in high school graduating within 4 years.
To learn more about how this effort could impact the path to prosperity for our youngest Floridians, feel free to contact me directly at 850-545-0543 or firstname.lastname@example.org.