A budget proposal that is advancing in the Legislature would make next year’s funding for Florida’s public schools contingent on the passage of Republican House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s chief education priority: a new voucher directing taxpayer dollars to private schools.
The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday adopted a spending plan that would allocate about $8.3 billion in state funding for public schools only if an already-controversial omnibus education bill becomes law.
The legislation is House Bill 7055, which was unveiled last week and ballooned to nearly 200 pages when it was also passed by the House budget committee on Wednesday. The legislation includes Corcoran’s main stated priority for the 2018 session, the so-called “hope scholarship, which is a new voucher that would allow bullied students to attend private schools using public dollars. It also includes an especially controversial provision threatening the existence of teachers’ unions.