Ron DeSantis Notches Another Huge Win

(Public domain from the Office of the Governor of Florida.)

The anti-progressive pathogen known as universal school choice spread to Florida today, as Gov. Ron DeSantis put his signature on the state’s House Bill 1.


DeSantis said at the signing that the new law represents “the largest expansion of education choice not just in the history of this state, but in the history of these United States.” Florida is generally ranked well in education, “despite” — please notice the scare quotes — spending less per pupil than almost any other state.

The new law ensures “eligibility of the state’s Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and Family Empowerment Scholarship to any resident of Florida” eligible for K-12 public education, according to Click Orlando.

“At the end of the day,” DeSantis also said, “we fundamentally believe that the money should follow the student and it should be directed based on what the parent thinks is the most appropriate education program for their child.”

Under the law, new Education Savings Accounts will give families up to $8,000 to spend on education outside the public school system. The amount is based on need, with families of four earning under $51,000 (or 186% of the poverty line) getting dibs on voucher dollars. The second tier of funds goes to families whose incomes do not exceed 400% of the poverty line.

DeSantis was on a roll against critics of universal school choice: “There were some that said, ‘Oh, you know, parents… don’t know what they’re doing. They shouldn’t be involved.’ You hear these crazy arguments, but I can tell you if you talk to most teachers, if a parent is engaged in the student’s education, the student is going to do much better.”


Florida is now the sixth state — all led by Republicans –to fund universal school choice, starting with Arizona in 2022. While the GOP has been smart on public education policy, it remains to be seen whether they can make it a winning issue with urban voters whose kids are often trapped in utterly failed public schools.

Believe it or not, the signing wasn’t the only big reform win today for DeSantis.

DeSantis and the Republican-led legislature also made real the “biggest legal reform bill in decades,” with HB 837, according to the Institute for Legal Reform. The new law “protects Florida consumers and businesses from abusive billboard trial lawyer tactics” by protecting small businesses from massive damages when they are not primarily at fault, among other reforms.

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