MIAMI, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis signs school choice legislation at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami on Monday.
Governor DeSantis is joined by Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Department of Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, and Speaker Paul Renner.
Governor DeSantis signed a House Bill (HB) 1, which expands available school choice options for all students in Florida by eliminating financial eligibility restrictions and enrollment caps.
Florida already has 1.3 million students who learn full-time in a school of their family’s choosing.
HB 1 eliminates financial eligibility restrictions and allows any student who is eligible to enroll in available school choice options.
The bill will award students scholarships to students who live in households with incomes between 185% - 400% of the federal poverty level.
HB 1 also increases the annual scholarship adjustment for students with unique abilities to address high demand and wait lists.
For students who are not full-time enrolled in school, there will be a cap of 20,000 new scholarships for the 2023-2024 school year and a cap of 40,000 new scholarships for every year after that.
The legislation requires the Office of K-12 School Choice to develop an online portal that enables parents to choose the best educational options for their students.
The bill also eliminates the requirement that students must complete at least one credit through a virtual course to graduate.
The bill will expand the length of temporary teaching certificates from three years to five.
This allows the general education requirement to be waived for teachers who have had three years in the classroom and have been rated 'effective' or 'highly effective' for three consecutive years.
The bill will require the State Board of Education to recommend additional repeals and revisions to the education code.