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 | By Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops

Florida Legislature Sends Educational Choice Bill to Governor Desantis' Desk

March 24, 2023 | "One of the most transformative education bills in the history of the state," as described by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, received final passage in the Florida Senate on Thursday by a 26-12 vote. The House passed HB 1 (Tuck) last Friday by a 83-27 vote. Having been approved by both chambers of the Florida Legislature, the bill will now go to the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis to be signed into law.  

"This is the issue I ran on," said bill sponsor Senator Corey Simon during his closing statement. "Making sure that our kids get the education that they deserve." 

FCCB supports this expansion of school choice that will empower all parents to choose the educational environment that best meets the needs of their children. This legislation will expand state scholarship programs so that education savings accounts (ESAs) are available to all students eligible to attend a public school in Florida, including homeschool students. Scholarships will no longer solely be based on income, disability, or special status. Additionally, ESAs will allow parents more flexibility in spending scholarship funds. Allowable uses include: private school tuition; tuition and fees for enrollment in a homeschool program; instructional materials or curriculum; programs offered by postsecondary institutions; apprenticeship programs; private tutoring; and virtual programs and courses. The bills also significantly expand access to larger scholarships for students with disabilities by increasing the enrollment cap. 

We thank Catholic Days participants and the members of our advocacy network who urged their lawmakers to support this historic legislation.