Florida Education bills aplenty await DeSantis’ signature

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Education was clearly on lawmakers’ minds during Florida’s 2021 legislative session.

While debates over “Critical Race Theory” have sucked up much of the oxygen about schools recently, this year’s session ended with more than 30 bills that could impact classrooms making it through both chambers. 

Some have already been signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, while others are awaiting his pen in the coming weeks. On Tuesday, lobbyists Ron LaFace and Megan Fay, with Capital City Consulting, briefed the Sarasota County School Board on the bills that should be on their radar. 

Here is a look at some of the pieces of legislation that will or could impact schools in years to come: 

Gov. Ron DeSantis high-fives students as he enters the Sarasota School of Arts & Sciences gymnasium for an Wednesday afternoon press conference in Sarasota, Florida, on May 26, 2021. THOMAS BENDER/ SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE

School Choice – In May the governor signed House Bill 7045 into law, expanding who is eligible for private school vouchers to include families of four earning less than $100,000. The bill eliminated the Gardiner and McKay scholarships and moved them into the “Family Empowerment Scholarship” program, which is funded from the same pot as public schools, rather than through corporate tax credits. 

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