Gardiner Scholarship Education Bill Signed Into Law

Governor Rick Scott signed the Florida Chamber-backed Gardiner Scholarship into law, which empowers students with unique abilities to succeed by providing options for high-quality education programs.

The Florida Chamber thanks Senate President Andy Gardiner, Senator Don Gaetz (R-Destin) and Representative Erik Fresen (R-Miami), as well as Florida Chamber members, local chambers of commerce and members of the Florida Chamber’s coalition for their help in this success.

 

What Does This Law Mean for You?

Click here to read our one-pager, which outlines what this law will mean for your business, your employees and your community.

Florida Chamber-Backed Unique Abilities Bill Passes, Heads to Governor For Signature

The Florida Chamber of Commerce applauds the Florida Legislature for today fully passing a Florida Chamber-backed unique abilities bill, The Gardiner Scholarship, that will empower students with intellectual disabilities to succeed by providing options for high quality education programs.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) and which now heads to Governor Rick Scott for signature, increases flexibility for parents so they can provide an even more customized education plan for their children through a variety of services and therapies. It also allows more families to participate in this much-needed program by expanding eligibility requirements.

“For people with unique abilities and their families, Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts and Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Programs represent freedom from a one-size-fits-all system and the opportunity to pursue education and career choices suited to their own unique skills,” said Senate President Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando) in a release.

The Florida Chamber commends Senate President Andy Gardiner, Senator Don Gaetz and Representative Erik Fresen for continuing to secure Florida’s future for students of all abilities.

What’s Next for This Bill

The bill now heads to Governor Scott’s desk to await signature.

Florida Chamber-Backed Unique Abilities Bill Passes; Heads to Governor’s Desk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Edie Ousley
(850) 521-1231
eousley@flchamber.com

The Gardiner Scholarship Will Empower Students

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 14, 2016) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce applauds the Florida Legislature for passing a Florida Chamber-backed unique abilities bill, The Gardiner Scholarship, that will empower students with disabilities to succeed by providing options for high quality education programs.

 

“At the Florida Chamber, we know that every child is different, and every child has unique needs,” said Brittney Hunt, Director of Talent, Education and Quality of Life Policy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “This bill increases flexibility for parents, so that they can provide an even more customized education plan for their children. We are grateful to the legislature for their continued support of a program which has truly become a model for the nation.”

 

As Florida continues on the path to become the number one job-creating state in the nation, Florida has an opportunity to help encourage underemployed Floridians — especially those with unique abilities — to reach their full employment potential.

In fact, a recent report released by the Florida Chamber Foundation shows that more than 700,000 Floridians with disabilities are currently not in the workforce. The results of the report show that not only is the unemployment rate for Floridians with unique abilities substantially higher than the overall unemployment rate, but also the variability of the rates across counties is extremely high.

 

“This bill is a step in the right direction to ensure that students of all abilities are able to succeed and we commend Senate President Andy Gardiner, Senator Don Gaetz and Representative Erik Fresen for their continued support of this issue,” said Hunt.

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The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.