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Safety & Discipline

Florida lawmakers considering bill to grant bullied students vouchers

Jamie Martines
| Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, 12:03 p.m.

By JALawmakers in Florida are considering a bill that would fund private school for public school students who are bullied.

The measure, called the Hope Scholarships bill (SB 1172), would grant vouchers to students who are victims of bullying, assault, robbery or other types of violence. The vouchers would pay for the student to move to another public or private school, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The bill is sponsored by Republican Sen. Bill Galvano.

Galvano told the Sun-Sentinel that the program is intended to empower families that find children are victims of bullying or other incidents.

A version of the bill backed by state Rep. Byron Donalds, a Republican, is moving through the House. The Senate version adds a provision that would require school administrators to investigate bullying allegations before the voucher is granted, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The program will be funded by Florida motorists, Newsweek reports. A voluntary $20 contribution when buying or registering a vehicle is expected to generate about $7.9 million in funding for the program during the 2018-19 school year.

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at jmartines@tribweb.com, 724-850-2867 or on Twitter @Jamie_Martines.

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