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school choice

Florida Legislature: Week 7 wrap-up

As the 2019 legislative session winds to a close, the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday advanced a bill that would create a new state-funded program to eliminate a waiting list for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for lower-income families. The committee approved a significant “strike-all” amendment for SB 7070 proposed by the bill’s sponsor, Education Committee Chair Manny Diaz (R-Miami)....
education

The Hypocrisy of the For-Profit Attack

The term “for-profit” has been weaponized in public education by teachers unions and their tribal allies. They wield it against education improvement initiatives they oppose, especially education choice programs not covered by collective bargaining agreements. (Choice programs not operating under collective bargaining, such as Florida’s Voluntary PreK program, are not targets of for-profit attacks.) For-profit corporations are forbidden to operate charter...
family empowerment scholarship

Senate committee passes amended scholarship bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday advanced a bill that would create a new state-funded program to eliminate a waiting list of 13,000 for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for lower-income families. SB 7070, which would establish the Family Empowerment Scholarship, previously passed two other committees. But the Appropriations Committee approved a significant “strike-all” amendment by the bill’s sponsor, Education Committee...

Money is fungible, not magical

Critics have spilled considerable ink attacking Florida’s proposed Family Empowerment Scholarship. The voucher would cost about $100 million and allow at least 15,000 low- and working-class students to attend private schools. “I’m afraid it will do damage to the regular public schools in the state of Florida,” said Sen. Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee), who opposed “diverting” money in the Florida Education...

podcastED: Senator Jeff Brandes on the future of public education

If you ask Florida Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) what he thinks the education world will look like in the year 2040, he’ll tell you it will be going back to the past. “I see us moving back to the one-room schoolhouse where we have students of different capabilities working with each other to help everyone rise,” Brandes says. The Pinellas...

DeSantis: New scholarship program would put parents “in driver’s seat”

TAMPA – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday reiterated his pledge to establish a state-funded program that would eliminate the 13,000 students on a waiting list to receive the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC) for lower-income families. Speaking at Tampa Bay Christian Academy, where 180 of the school’s 260 students (72 percent of whom are black or Hispanic) use the...
school choice

Teacher-led micro schools, ESAs create opportunity in Native American education

I had the opportunity recently to visit a new, small private school on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona. The school illustrates an education trend that is providing a new avenue for addressing America’s largest achievement gap. The United States has done very poorly by Native Americans, including but hardly limited to K-12 education. Starting in the late 19th...

revisitED: ‘A voice of calm’ for students with Autism

Editor’s note: redefinED is supporting National Autism Awareness Month each Saturday in April by reposting articles from our archives that celebrate those who champion the educational rights of children with autism. Today’s post, which originally appeared in June 2018, features a dedicated teacher who refused to give up on a child with profound autism. By Livi Stanford Abigail Maass never spoke....
family empowerment scholarship

Florida Legislature: Week 6 wrap-up

Lawmakers moved forward in the sixth week of the session on several bills related to school choice. Here is a brief recap. The House Ways and Means Committee approved PCB WMC 19-02, a tax package bill that includes a provision to require school districts to share tax referendum revenues with charter schools. Voters in eight Florida counties had approved in...