TALLAHASSEE, Fla.– Senate Bill 672 passed with overwhelming support today from the Florida Legislature. The bill will expand educational opportunities for students with disabilities through the Gardiner Scholarship program. Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future, released the following statement:

“There are more than 300,000 students with disabilities in Florida. Their parents are tireless and loving advocates. But the obstacles they confront to ensure their children receive the services they require and the right learning environment can be formidable and frustrating. It is a struggle that few outside this special group can understand.

“As one of these parents myself, I am particularly grateful to the Legislature, which today expanded the Gardiner Scholarship Account Program to include 3- and 4-year-olds as well as students with muscular dystrophy and autism spectrum disorder. This measure will give parents more options and resources to ensure brighter futures for their children. Thank you to Senator Don Gaetz and Representative Erik Fresen for sponsoring this measure, and to House Speaker Steve Crisafulli for supporting and leading the House to support.

“But my deepest appreciation goes to Senate President Andy Gardiner. His passion and drive has turned a personal crusade into a state priority. The impact of his advocacy will make a profound difference in the lives of children–with unique abilities–for generations to come. It is an outstanding legacy and one that will be long remembered.”