March 10, 2023

Abortion, education and guns: DeSantis's proposals in Florida hint at potential 2024 campaign [Yahoo News]

Chanelle Chandler writes:

"Florida began its 60-day legislative session this week as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed the GOP-led Legislature in his highly anticipated State of the State speech, which has been widely viewed as an indicator of how he might promote himself as a potential 2024 presidential nominee.


Another aspect of education that DeSantis plans to tackle is expanding school vouchers — a move that the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added], an independent nonprofit, says could cost $4 billion in the first year alone. Under the voucher expansion, every Florida student from kindergarten to 12th grade would be eligible for vouchers that could be used for private or religious school tuition, private tutoring or other expenses. The proposal would remove income requirements for vouchers and also make vouchers available to homeschooled students.

Currently, Florida has a universal income and disability-based voucher system in which only certain people qualify for vouchers. The income is capped at 375% of the federal poverty level, which is about $112,000 for a family of four.

'We have looked at the cost of that, and if you consider currently enrolled kids who are getting vouchers already, you look at kids in private school who have never been in public education, who are also eligible for these vouchers,' Norín Dollard, senior policy analyst at Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added], told Yahoo News. 'If you look at homeschool, which is another new population that would be eligible for these vouchers, all of those things together would reach $4 billion of the state share of just K-through-12 education.'


'We’re heavily reliant on immigrants for labor, for our higher education enrollment and graduation rates for our STEM graduates, which is a significant goal of our state university and college systems, to have a skilled, strong STEM-educated workforce,' Alexis Tsoukalas, a policy analyst for Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added], told Yahoo News. “The legislation claims that [Florida lawmakers] want to focus on it and it likely would have a much larger appeal. What that is yet we’re still determining.'"

Read the rest of the story at

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