Florida Senate Passes School Voucher Expansion

Rep. Ron Brise, D-Miami, says the bill helps low-income families have the same choices higher income families do.
TAMPA (3-24-2010) -

The Florida Senate has passed a bill to expand the state’s private school voucher program.

The voucher bill would raise the amount of money low-income students receive to attend private schools.

The voucher bill (SB 2126) cleared the Senate on a 27-11 vote Wednesday, and now goes to the House.

It could increase to as much as 80 percent of what public schools receive for educating that same student.

Thousands of voucher supporters rallied outside the Capitol today, including Alejandra Alonso, whose daughter goes to Tampa Bay Christian Academy. He told the Tampa Tribune that the school turned her into a straight-A student.

The bill has some support from Democratic lawmakers, such as Rep. Ron Brise of Miami.

"Truthfully, some children will not do well in the model of the public education system, so this provides low income families...the ability to do what’s best for their children," he said.

Opponents say the $31 million pricetag is too high and takes resources away from public schools.

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