JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- When it comes to education, some argue students should not be forced to attend a specific school simply because of where they live. Three bills making their way through Florida Legislature could soon change that.
"Would there be a detrimental effect on our budget? Likely. But I don't support or oppose legislation only on fiscal matters," said Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti.
Currently some districts have school choice for specific programs. There are two bills in the state House and Senate that would knock down county zone barriers, making it possible for parents to place their children in any school that has vacancies.
Dr. Vitti supports the proposal.
"Philosophically, I am supportive of it because I think parents should not be stuck in their neighborhood school. I think when we talk about certain parents who are stuck, we are usually talking about issues of class and social-economic status," said Vitti.
On Wednesday, those two bills cleared their first committee stops.
There is also another proposal, backed by Sen. Don Gaetz, that just passed its first committee, but it speaks specifically to school choice for athletics and clubs.
"I think we ought to be concerned about where families believe their children can be best educated as opposed to the convenience of adults or school district bureaucracy. As long as it does not cost taxpayers more money and this wouldn't," said Sen. Gaetz.
This proposed legislation does raise concerns for some people, including Orange Park High School head football coach Thomas MacPherson.
MacPherson says it could encourage illegal recruiting of student-athletes.
"If it is that easy now to just go to, without having to move, or change addresses, how do you now follow recruiting and can you keep up with it? Because school of choice means it was the parent's decision, not that they were enticed to make the decision," said MacPherson.
Sen. Gaetz says his bill would impose suspensions and fines on those found to have illegally recruited student-athletes, if his bill becomes law.