Tallahassee, Fla – Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future today released the following statement on the House Choice & Innovation Subcommittee’s approval of House Bill 837, relating to the McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program:

“For more than a decade, Florida has prioritized empowering every parent to select the quality education that best fits the individual learning needs of their child. Since its inception, the McKay Scholarship Program has been an invaluable program that has given tens of thousands of students with unique abilities the opportunity to attend a school where they can learn, grow and thrive. This good bill by Representative Bileca makes key improvements to this program, allowing more students to benefit from the opportunities it provides.

“The new transition-to-work program under this bill  which will provide academic instruction, work skills training and a volunteer or paid work experience  will give these students a leg up in acquiring the skills they will need when they begin their postsecondary path. Furthermore, the exemption of foster children from the prior school year attendance requirement will enable those students most in need to attend the school that best fits their needs. Lastly, the removal of the 1.0 FTE cap for McKay Scholarship payments will ensure students can enroll in virtual courses without having their scholarship payment reduced.

“I thank Representative Bileca, the House Choice & Innovation Subcommittee and The Coalition of McKay Scholarship Schools for their leadership in ensuring that students with unique abilities have the tools they need to succeed at their disposal. We look forward to seeing this legislation move swiftly through the legislative process.”