Florida may expand help for intellectually disabled children

By The Associated Press | Posted - Nov. 18, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.



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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Legislature is moving ahead with a measure that will increase the number of children eligible for vouchers that pay for special education programs.

A Senate panel on Wednesday voted for the bill that is one of the top priorities for Senate President Andy Gardiner. Gardiner has a son with Down syndrome and has become a champion of rights for the disabled. A House panel voted for the same bill earlier this week.

The legislation (SB 672) permanently expands the program known as the Personal Learning Scholarship Account.

Legislators expanded the program earlier this year, but that change expires next year. The bill would include additional students on the autism spectrum, students with muscular dystrophy, and three- and four-year-old children who meet certain criteria.

The bill would also allow school districts to qualify for extra money if they require uniforms.

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The Associated Press

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