FL Legislators Advance Bills Expanding Access to Education for Children

Lawmakers Advance Two Bills That Will Give Parents More Options to Quality Education for Their Children

On February 25, the Florida Legislature voted to advance legislation to give students greater access to high-quality education by passing SB 1220 and HB 7067 out of their committees. These bills, sponsored by Senator Manny Diaz and Representative Jennifer Sullivan respectively, expand and reinforce the K-12 educational opportunities for parents to choose the best school for their child regardless of zip-code or household income limitations.

HB 7067 Will:

• Increase the maximum income level threshold by 25% when more than 5% of total available Family Empowerment Scholarships have not been awarded,

• Authorize a student with a disability who meets the Gardiner Scholarship Program (GSP) eligibility requirements, but who turns 3 years of age after September 1, to be determined eligible for a GSP on or after his or her third birthday and awarded a scholarship if funds are available,

• Provide that a student who receives a Florida Tax Credit scholarship remains eligible to participate until the student enrolls in a public school, graduates from high school or reaches 21 years of age, and

• Require reviewing a school bullying prevention education program, climate, and code of student conduct of each public school from which ten or more students transferred to another public or private school using the Hope Scholarship Program in a single academic year.

SB 1220 Will:

• Expand the Florida Empowerment Scholarship eligibility to a student who received a FTC scholarship in the prior year and was in a public school the year prior to initial receipt of the FTC scholarship.

The Senate education bill, SB 1220, has one final committee stop before being ready to hit the Senate floor for a full vote. Yesterday’s House Appropriations Committee was the final stop for HB 7067 and it is ready to head to the House floor.

Register to Attend…

Register today for the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2020 Learners to Earners Workforce Summit taking place in Orlando on June 16 and take advantage of this unique opportunity to hear from and network with business and industry leaders looking for talent and education leaders tasked with ensuring Florida’s students are ready for the future of work.

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