Pennsylvania: After Governor Josh Shapiro caved to pressure from teachers unions and broke his own campaign promise to support Lifeline Scholarships for students in Pennsylvania’s poorest performing schools, the commonwealth remains in a budget stalemate. Shapiro said he would line-item veto the very school choice plan he previously vocally supported in order to avoid “a painful, protracted budget impasse” that is still happening, likely until September. Shapiro has said he would consider school choice proposals in the future, but it is very uncertain if any legislation will be signed into law this session after Shapiro’s about-face.
Ohio: Meanwhile, in neighboring Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine and the Republican legislature have expanded their school choice vouchers to any family, regardless of income. The program previously applied to only those families who fell under 250% of the federal poverty level and those attending the state’s worst-performing schools. High-performing charter schools will also see a boost in funding.
Florida: Florida is seeing a massive expansion in the number of awarded school choice scholarships, as this Fall marks the first year families do not have to meet an income requirement to qualify. So far, 240,000 scholarships have been awarded for the 2023-2024 school year, compared to approximately 170,000 given out last year.
Iowa: Similarly, in Iowa, over 29,000 students have applied for an education savings account as of the end of June, far exceeding initial projections which predicted just over 14,000 would be approved.