Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. spoke to us exclusively about all the changes that have taken place in education since he took office eleven months ago.

Last year was marked by changes in basic education in Florida. But the new law that expands family empowerment scholarships will significantly reform education for elementary through high school students, Education Commissioner Manny Díaz JR told us.

“I think what will have the most impact is not just the expansion of school vouchers, but now it’s an educational account where parents can choose different options,” says Díaz.

Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation in Miami that would provide school vouchers of around $8,000 to any student in Florida. These can be used to pay for private school and other benefits contracted by public schools since the bonds will function as an education savings account.

The only requirements to be eligible are: being a resident of Florida and being an elementary through high school student.

Priority will be given to low-income families, that is, families with an income of approximately $51,000 per year for a family of four.

“The formula changes from county to county. Miami Dade is much more expensive than other counties, about $8,400 this year and next year it would be a little more expensive.”

However, the law eliminates the income eligibility requirement that exists today. We ask the commissioner why use public funds for private education.

“That the student is educated with funds that are given, not necessarily who gives it and I believe parents have reached the point where they want the best for the student and they don’t really care who is educating or who is giving it to them. ‘where it comes from education as long as it’s about the right education.

The funds would be available from July 1. But Díaz explained that the legislator has not yet approved the total amount and that the taxpayer contribution would benefit the students and not the private school.

“Parents choose where they will use the funds, and the funds are disbursed for education and payments are made every three months.”

Interested families will find the information on the Ministry of Education website when it is updated.

The commissioner says maybe more changes in education will come as in Tallahassee they are debating several issues related to schools, for now school vouchers come into effect on July 1st.

To request school vouchers, enter HERE.

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