Feb 12, 2024 - News

Proposed Florida law would give kids free swimming lessons

Participants in Kissimmee, Fla., join an effort to break the record for "The World's Largest Swimming Lesson" on Thursday, June 18, 2015.

Participants join an effort to break the record for the "World's Largest Swimming Lesson." Photo: Jacob Langston/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Florida has long been the nationwide leader in child drowning deaths. A new bill would make it free to get swimming lessons for low-income families.

Driving the news: At least 97 kids fatally drowned in 2023, up from 82 in 2017, according to data from the Department of Children and Families reported by the Sun Sentinel.

  • Senate Bill 544 would give free swim lesson vouchers to kids 4 years and under in low-income families.
  • To qualify, families would need to earn no more than 200% of the federal poverty level, or about $60,000 for a family of four.

Zoom in: Miami-Dade County offers swimming lessons between $10 and $60 per session.

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