February 24, 2023

State economists say a school choice expansion will cost $210 million. Not everyone buys it [WUWF]

Lynn Hatter writes:

"The state has come out with its estimate for how much a massive expansion of the state’s school choice program will cost: about $210 million. That’s far below the number put out by an independent group. So why are the numbers so far apart?

The Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added] put out a figure a few weeks ago stating the cost of Florida’s expansion of its school voucher program would be around $4 billion. The state’s estimate is way less. When Republican Rep. Kaylee Tuck delivered the state’s figure for the cost of the voucher expansion, it was met with puzzled faces from fellow lawmakers, and a packed crowd. The first to ask the obvious question was Rep. Daniel Alvarez, R-Hillsboro.

"They’re [the Florida Policy Institute] [emphasis added] telling us that even under conservative estimates, Florida’s Empowerment Scholarship will cost $4 billion, but when I read the analysis we’re saying it’s $209.6 million...where’s that gap?" he asked.

Education watchers have been waiting weeks to see where the state’s price tag for the measure would land."


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