Conservatives won a smashing victory in their efforts to smash public schools and gut teachers unions. The Republican-dominated in the legislature passed a bill for universal vouchers, with no income limitations. After this bill passes the upper house and is signed by Governor DeSantis, every student in the state will be eligible for a voucher for any school.

Students in voucher schools do not take state tests. voucher schools are norms required to have credentialed staff. Voucher schools get public money but they are free from accountability and transparency required of public schools.

Typically, in every state that offers vouchers, 75-80% are claimed by students already enrolled in private schools. This legislation is a subsidy for affluent families.

The Republican-controlled House on Friday passed a measure that would make every Florida student eligible for taxpayer-backed school vouchers, as Democrats and other critics slammed the expansion as a “coupon for millionaires.”

House members voted 83-27 along almost straight party lines to pass the bill. The Senate could consider a similar bill (SB 202) as early as next week. The proposals have sailed through the Legislature, and Gov. Ron DeSantis has pledged that he would sign a vouchers expansion.

Opposition to the House bill centered, in part, on eliminating income-eligibility requirements that are part of current voucher programs. Families would be eligible to receive vouchers under the bill if “the student is a resident of this state and is eligible to enroll in kindergarten through grade 12 in a public school in this state.”

Rep. Marie Woodson, D-Hollywood, echoed many other opponents Friday when she criticized the possibility that wealthy families would receive vouchers.

“This bill is an $8,000 gift card to the millionaires and billionaires who are being gifted with a state-sponsored coupon for something they can already afford,” Woodson said.

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