New scholarship: Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to eliminate the 14,000-student waiting list for Florida Tax Credit (FTC) scholarships to attend private schools by creating another scholarship. The proposed Equal Opportunity Scholarship program would offer the same amount of money as the tax credit scholarships do – around $7,000 a year – to those 14,000 low-income students. The $100 million set aside for the new scholarship would come directly from the state, while the funding for FTC scholarships comes from companies that receive tax credits for contributing to nonprofits. “If the taxpayer is paying for education, it’s public education,” regardless of what type of school she or he attends, said DeSantis. Step Up For Students, which hosts this blog, helps administer the FTC program. Legislators will have to write a bill and pass it into law. News Service of Florida. Associated Press. Miami Herald. Orlando Sentinel. redefinED. Gradebook. Lawsuits are likely to follow DeSantis’ call for a new scholarship. News Service of Florida. Politico Florida.
Guns and teachers: A recent statewide poll suggests a minority of Floridians support arming teachers, but the Republican-dominated Legislature is moving ahead with a bill that would arm willing teachers who get the required training. The bill passed last year specifically prohibited arming teachers. Legislators say they have come around on the issue after the state commission investigating the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 recommended that willing teachers be armed. “I want to remind members that we had members of that commission who were totally against any armed personnel being on a campus,” said State Sen. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah, “and after their serving on that commission they have come to us with this recommendation.” Sarasota Herald-Tribune.