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Expanded school voucher program could cost Florida an additional $2 billion a year

Governor Ron DeSantis at a news conference in Miami, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
Marta Lavandier/AP
Governor Ron DeSantis at a news conference in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

The Florida Policy Institute says a bill that would expand Florida’s school voucher program could hurt public schools.

Analyst Mary McKillip with the Education Law Center, works closely with the institute. She said the expansion would provide assistance to families whose children already attend private school or are currently being homeschooled.

That means public schools stand to lose hundreds of dollars in state funding per pupil.

“If new revenue is not found to cover these costs, the public school districts will end up with significantly less revenue to fund the remaining public school students, which we're estimating would be a drop in state aid per pupil of over $900."

McKillip said even siphoning money from public schools won't be enough to cover the cost of all those scholarships.

“So that means that based on these estimates, there's $2 billion in new state funding that would be needed to fund the vouchers for these students who are not currently enrolled in public schools.”

The bill making its way through the Florida Senate has the support of Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. Read the full bill here. See how much your school district stands to lose in state funding here.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.
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