Ron DeSantis says $25B school choice plan could be ‘revolutionary’ for American students
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 5/5/23-Gov. Ron DeSantis, center, is joined by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, left, House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, right, as they listen to a question from the media during a news conference after the 2023 legislative session concluded, Friday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

The Treasury Department may be cutting the checks.

Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to flesh out how he would expand Florida’s school choice model nationally, if he becomes President.

In Ames, Iowa on Friday, the Republican candidate told voters a price tag and explained how the Treasury Department might handle the disbursements.

“You’d set the criteria, you know, in Florida, we get 100,000 students for a billion dollars a year (for) scholarship and administrative cost. So I think if you did like $25 billion, it could be revolutionary throughout this country.”

He said the scheme would be “modeled after part of what we’ve done in Florida.”

“We have a tax credit scholarship program so corporations can write off a certain amount of their tax liability. It goes to a scholarship granting institution and then they issue the scholarships based on the criteria. So I think what we would do is we do it through the Treasury Department, do it through budget reconciliation.”

The Governor has teased out details on the campaign trail, but this is the first time we’ve heard a hard number and a funding mechanism.

“K through 12. We are going to be able to do, I believe, universal school choice nationally. I think we’re going to be able to do it. We’re working on how,” DeSantis said in Nevada last month. “At least we’ll be able to bring school choice to lower and working-class people.”

“I think you have to do it nationally even though I think ideally it would be done at the state or local level because places like Chicago are never going to give these kids opportunities,” DeSantis said earlier this month.

2023 saw an expansion of the state’s school choice program, with new categories of students eligible to receive a voucher worth $8,000 per student to go to any private school. The cost to the state was estimated at the time to be at least $642 million.

The voucher program had been limited to families making 400% or less than the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), which is about $111,000 a year for a family of four. The state has been able to meet the demand from that group, although there is a waitlist for children with special needs to get funded.

New additions include children currently enrolled in public school whose parents earn more than 400% of the federal poverty level, children presently attending private school whose families make too much for the current scholarship, called the Family Empowerment Scholarship, and even homeschooled students who agree to a certain level of state oversight.

Anne Geggis contributed reporting.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Michael K

    November 11, 2023 at 11:28 am

    Leave it to the bitter authoritarians to destroy public education, along with democracy.

    • WhatNow

      November 11, 2023 at 4:28 pm

      – He somehow manages to make Trump look *almost* like an angel from heaven, albeit a fallen one.

  • momlot

    November 11, 2023 at 11:38 am

    You can expect to earn between $5 and $25 per audio hour. hs All you need is a computer or smartphone with internet access. hs And of course you have to complete a simple and free training.

    Free training here…

  • Joe

    November 11, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    That’s the basis of the RepubliQans’ entire crusade against public education, to divert public funds into the pockets of their preferred cronies and private education grifters.

  • WhatNow

    November 11, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Thank GOD this dangerous fool will not be our next President.

  • My Take

    November 11, 2023 at 5:56 pm

    Every evangelical church with Sìnday School classrooms will become a “school.”
    With the pastor pressuring parents in the congregation to support it.

    • My Take loop

      November 13, 2023 at 7:55 pm

      Sìnday was unintentional!!
      A daemon may have taken over my fingers.

  • My Take

    November 11, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    Then the stooges in the legislature will require that diplomas from these schools be treated the equally as those ftom reputable schools in public college admissions. Then it will be the same for grades. Then for use in employment. With no requirements for test proofs of attainmemt permitted.

    • MH/Duuuval

      November 12, 2023 at 12:13 pm

      This is the “wink and nod” of all criminal or authoritarian enterprises.

  • JD

    November 14, 2023 at 6:04 am

    SO MUCH GRIFT from the right while screaming fiscal responsibility. The hypocrisy is almost physical enough to be cut with a knife.

Comments are closed.


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