Florida legislators on why they voted for or against HB1 – universal vouchers for private schools

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Students and teacher at Sheehy Elementary School. By Pamela Robinson/WMNF News (2022).

A universal school voucher bill is sailing through the state legislature.

HB1 passed the Florida House on Friday and would allow nearly all students to attend private school with a voucher from the state. Some of the big concerns are how much it will cost – nobody can seem to agree on the number – and how much funding it will take away from public schools.

Here’s how News Service of Florida put the discrepancy in estimates for how much HB1 would cost the state:

“House and Senate staff analyses have included different estimates, with the House giving a ballpark estimate of $209.6 million, while a Senate analysis estimated a price tag of roughly $646 million.

“But the Florida Policy Institute, a non-profit group that opposes the voucher plan, estimates that the proposal would cost about $4 billion.”

Public schools get about $8,000 per student. That funding would “follow the student” if they transfer to a private school.

HB 1 passed the House, 83-27, mostly along party lines.

Its companion, SB 202, is expected to be taken up by the Senate Wednesday.

On Tuesday Café, we heard part of the House floor debate — legislators describing why they were about to vote for or against HB 1.

Listen to this show here:

Click here to watch the Florida House Session on 17 March 2023 via The Florida Channel.

WMNF’s Tuesday Café

Tuesday Café airs weekly on WMNF beginning at 10:06 a.m. ET.

You can listen live on 88.5 FM in Tampa Bay, on wmnf.org or on the WMNF Community Radio app.

You can listen anytime on demand on wmnf.org or by subscribing to the Tuesday Café podcast on your favorite podcast platform.

https://open.spotify.com/show/311qfxLFcO8F7ZvnjgZogD – WMNF’s Tuesday Café with Seán Kinane.

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