On Friday, yeshiva parents in Florida achieved a significant victory. The Florida House recently passed a historic bill offering vouchers worth thousands of dollars to every student enrolled in a private school, regardless of family income.
All families, even those with high incomes, would be eligible for education savings accounts under the universal school choice law, HB1.
It was approved 83-27 by the Republican-controlled House, with three Democrats voting yes.
All qualified kids can use a voucher worth around $8,000 if the legislation becomes law to pay for their education at eligible private schools or for related expenses like homeschooling, tutoring, supplies, and standardized exam fees.
Vouchers are now only available to two-child households with a yearly income of $110,000 or less.
The Florida branch of Agudath Israel tweeted their approval of the passage.
According to Jason Bedrick, an orthodox Jewish research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy, “Florida has long been a pioneer in empowering families with education choice.
Recently, Republican governor Ron DeSantis voiced caution about universal school choice, questioning whether all families, even the rich, should receive the vouchers.
“If you have a very wealthy family, they have a choice of schools,” he remarked. They don’t always have to be qualified for the program. They are qualified. They can attend and pay their tuition.
“I am completely at ease stating that if everyone in Florida who can afford it can go without getting it, and everyone who can’t get a scholarship, to me, that is still universal,” he continued.