TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (IRN) — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on August 19th, 2023 has announced a significant milestone in the state’s educational landscape, celebrating a record-breaking number of students participating in school-choice educational scholarships. The scholarships, which aim to provide high-quality alternatives for Florida students, have garnered overwhelming interest this year.
Governor DeSantis revealed that an astonishing 430,000 applications have been submitted by students seeking scholarships through the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and the Family Empowerment Scholarship. Notably, over 407,000 students have already been granted scholarships, with numerous additional applications currently under consideration. This surge in interest comes after the passing of House Bill 1, a legislative move that expanded school choice options for students and families in the state, enabling them to select the educational environment best suited to their children’s unique needs.
The current figures are nothing short of remarkable, representing a significant escalation from last year’s enrollment numbers. In 2022, approximately 250,000 students participated in the scholarship programs. Governor DeSantis expressed pride in the growing popularity of the initiative, emphasizing its role in empowering parents and broadening educational opportunities.
“Families in record numbers are choosing the best educational options for their children with our historic move to universal school choice,” Governor DeSantis affirmed. “I am proud of the work we have done so far, but we’re far from done—we will continue to empower parents and expand opportunities so that our students receive the best possible education.”
Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. echoed this sentiment, recognizing the significance of the educational expansion. “All parents want their children to receive a high-quality education, and our historic expansion of school choice scholarships will allow students to have the best chance of academic success,” Diaz stated. He applauded Florida’s status as a national model for school choice and highlighted the life-changing potential of the available educational options.
“,” said Pippin in a statement to Indian River News. “.”
“School choice and scholarship programs for families is vital to have and Florida is doing an amazing job with this! Public schools aren’t for every family and child so when families are given the opportunity to have financial assistance or other choices it’s truly America first,” said Pippin in a statement to Indian River News. “This is essential to have children graduate and be ready for trade school, college or the work force in whatever path their family chooses for them. “
The legislative changes have garnered widespread support among state officials. Speaker of the House Paul Renner emphasized the monumental impact of House Bill 1, citing Governor DeSantis’ unwavering commitment to empowering parents. “Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ signature and commitment to empowering parents, Florida has the largest expansion of School Choice in the nation, allowing every student, regardless of race, income, background, or zip code to customize their education to fit their unique needs,” Renner declared.
Senate President Kathleen Passidomo also commended the forward-thinking legislation, highlighting its potential to foster a thriving educational environment for all students. “With this historic legislation, every student has the opportunity to receive an education in an environment that allows them to thrive,” Passidomo noted. She expressed enthusiasm for the positive impact these new opportunities would have on students and reaffirmed Florida’s reputation as an education leader in the country.
The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and the Family Empowerment Scholarship play a pivotal role in this educational landscape, offering financial support for tuition, fees, curriculum materials, and transportation to eligible students. These programs are managed by scholarship funding organizations approved by the Florida Department of Education, which is diligently overseeing the processing of the record-breaking number of applications.
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