March 14, 2022

Florida Legislature Votes to Take Away Significant School Choice Options in Florida

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What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?
What’s a Rich Text element?

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TALLAHASSEE – As the Florida Legislature adjourned the 2022 Legislative Session sine die on Monday, both the House and Senate passed SB 2524 relating to education, as part of the FY 2022-23 state budget. This 180+ page bill significantly changes Florida law relating to school choice and was largely crafted behind closed doors and with no public input.

SB 2524 is one of 16 separate “conforming bills” related to the FY 2022-23 state budget. A similar bill in the House – HB 5101 – caused huge concern for the PSO Florida Chapter parents earlier in the Legislative Session and resulted in hundreds of calls, emails and social media posts begging legislators not to take away school choice.

As drafted, SB 2524 will hurt students enrolled in a virtual charter school outside of their home school district. Despite public testimony against a similar bill – HB 5101 - provisions in the bill that restricted school choice made their way into SB 2524 last week and were agreed to during the budget conference.

The PSO Florida Chapter is disappointed that the Florida House and Senate passed legislation that will kick thousands of students out of their virtual education programs, restrict school choice and leave many students behind and hopes Governor Ron DeSantis will veto this bad bill.

“The Florida Legislature just went backward as it relates to Florida’s long history of school choice policies. I am both disappointed and concerned that this 180-page bill was never open for public input.” said Melissa Ley, PSO Florida Chapter Steering Committee Chair.

The FY 2022-23 budget bills were voted on earlier today and are headed to Governor DeSantis within the coming weeks. Unless called back for a Special Legislative Session, if approved by the Governor, SB 2524 will become law on July 1, 2022.

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The Florida Chapter of the National Coalition for Public School Options represents thousands of parents across the state who have chosen differing educational options for their K-12 children. The protection of the choice to allow for homeschooling, virtual schooling or a combination thereof is paramount. Follow us on Twitter @PSOFlorida.

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