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October 8, 2014

Contact: Michael Kelley

(602) 633-8965


(9/24/2014) Lawyers will face off this afternoon in Leon County Circuit Court in Tallahassee to determine the fate of Florida’s Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts, which allow severely disabled school children who leave public schools to use their state funds for a wide array of educational purposes.

 “This is the future of school choice,” declared Clint Bolick, Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute, who will argue on behalf of six families with disabled children enrolled in the program. 

Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts provide thousands of Florida families with special needs children, the ability to customize their child’s educational experience. Funds assigned to that student, are placed into an education savings account that parents can manage. They can use the funds to pay for a variety of educational services such as; instructional materials, curriculum, occupational and physical therapy,  private school tuition, prepaid college tuition, and contracted public school services.

“This is the first, truly 21st Century system of education funding, allowing families to customize learning to their children’s individual needs,” said Bolick.

Florida adopted the program earlier this year, and more than 1,800 special needs students are enrolled, with 3,000 applications received since enrollment began in July.

The program is being challenged by the Florida Education Association, which contends the bill violates the “single subject” requirement of the state constitution.

The families are represented by the Goldwater Institute, which has defended similar school choice programs nationwide. Education Savings Accounts were originally adopted for disabled and foster children in Arizona in 2011, after the state supreme court struck down school vouchers.  The Goldwater Institute successfully defended the new program against a subsequent legal challenge.

Both sides will submit final arguments to the court, which will issue a ruling determining the constitutionality of the  innovative school choice program.




To schedule an interview with Clint Bolick, please contact Michael Kelley at the Goldwater Institute at (602) 633-8965 or If you are affiliated with a national network, the Goldwater Institute has an in-house VideoLink studio for rapid cable hook-up at no cost, and can make Institute spokespeople available for live in-person interviews upon request.



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