ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Gov. Ron DeSantis has been crisscrossing the state, making big changes to Florida’s education --abolishing federal standards of Common Core, adding bonuses to high-performing teachers, and offering a plan to eliminate the wait list for the tax credit scholarship.
“Should we be satisfied that there is a growing wait list?” DeSantis asked the audience at Cavalry City Academy in Orlando, “or should we try to build off the success of the tax credit scholarship and take it to another level? We’re gonna do it by creating a new Equal Opportunity Scholarship which is going to compliment the tax credit scholarship. It will be similar in amount and similar to how you use it.”
The tax credit scholarship is designed for lower income families to receive up to $7,000 a year for private school tuition and fees. The governor said it has over 100,000 recipients, with 14,000 others sitting on the wait list.
Parents like single mom Sharika Wright, who works full time as a garbage truck driver to support her family, has two boys on that list.
“We live paycheck to paycheck and sometimes I have to choose between buying food and paying tuition,” Wright said. “I chose private school because Zion and Jayden were struggling so much in their public school last year. They were bringing home Ds and Fs. They’re getting As and Bs now.”
But this new Equal Opportunity Scholarship isn’t available yet.
“So I’m asking the legislature send a bill to my desk that provides this equal opportunity for those folks who’ve not had the ability to access a good scholarship. Let’s do this!”
“Being a single mom of three is hard, but I never want my kids to feel like they can’t go to college, they can’t get a better education,” Wright said.