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Legislature responds to voucher problems

Even as Florida has become the country’s largest provider of public vouchers for private schooling, parents are complaining about delayed payments.

John Kirtley, founder, Step Up For Students
Photo by The Florida Channel

By Step Up for Students December 2023
Originally published in the Next Steps newsletter

After weeks of complaints from parents about delayed payments, Florida lawmakers looked into how implementation of the state’s voucher expansion is going and what can be done to improve the model. New guidelines for using voucher funds are due to be completed by the end of December.

Since Florida has become the largest provider of public vouchers for private schooling in the country, lawmakers now expect organizations administering this money on the state’s behalf to clarify what parents can spend it on.

Meanwhile, state officials are looking into bringing more scholarship funding organizations to the state. Vouchers are typically worth about $7,700. For students with special needs who are eligible for a “unique abilities scholarship,” that figure can run up to $10,000, according to Step Up for Students, the state’s primary scholarship funding organization.

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