State House reps demand answers on delayed school vouchers

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Many Florida families still have not received private school vouchers promised to them after House Bill 1 was signed into law last year. Some House representatives called for accountability during a subcommittee meeting on Thursday.

There’s been a 52 percent increase in what’s called Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Scholarships, compared to last fiscal year. It’s one type of voucher DeSantis made available to every family, regardless of income, for students that choose private school.

However, the rollout has been rocky. Democratic Representative Patricia Williams spoke out during the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee.

“I have a lot of complaints coming to my office stating they’re not receiving the funding that should be available for their children.”

Alexis Laroe is a representative for Step Up For Students, the nonprofit in charge of the scholarships. She blamed the large increase of students applying for the vouchers, the vetting process, and a new onboarding system.

“The combination of a new system and then new students was causing some delays in Quarter 1, but we have seen improvements every quarter following that with getting the payments out quicker.”

She also said they will be hiring more staff, and should see a smoother process next school year.

 

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