By LuAnne Schendel April 2019
The Florida Senate passed bill SB 7070 23-1, which now heads to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass.
SB 7070 authorizes new Family Empowerment Scholarships, which are designed to serve the 13,000 families on the waiting list for Florida Tax Credit Scholarships. They will be administered by the current scholarship funding associations. (Step Up for Students, for example).
The House Appropriations Committee already approved HB 7075, which creates a new state scholarship for students who are stuck on a waiting list for Florida Tax Credit Scholarships.
The Family Empowerment Scholarship would be funded by tax dollars and be available for about 28,000 students in the next school year, including the 13,000 or so on the FTC waiting list.
But the bill does reduce the scholarship amounts by more than $1,000 for students in high schools; by $800 or more for middle-schoolers; and by $500 or more for 4th- and 5th-graders. Assistance in administering the program is provided by Step Up For Students.