On this episode, redefinED managing editor Donna Winchester asks Tuthill about a landmark education choice bill filed Thursday in the Florida Senate. Sponsored by Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. (R-Hialeah), SB 48 would merge Florida’s five choice scholarship programs into two and add flexible spending options in the form of education savings accounts to better meet the individual needs of scholarship families.

 The bill would transfer students currently receiving the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship to the Family Empowerment Scholarship, which was signed into law in 2019, and merge the McKay Scholarship Program for students with disabilities and the Gardiner Scholarship Program for students with unique abilities, creating a new program called the McKay-Gardiner Scholarship Program.

Tuthill discusses the bill’s potential to better align public education to the modern world of school choice, aiding not only students and families but educators and education providers as well.

“I think you’re going to see a lot of very dynamic educators who would normally be pushed out of the profession because they’re so frustrated (now) staying … and creating lots of innovation. For the next 15 to 20 years, I think you will see an amazing amount of innovation driven by educators who finally have the freedom to be more creative, and families having the resources to access those kinds of choices. I think it’s going to be a renaissance for teachers and families.”

EPISODE DETAILS:

·       An explanation of SB 48 and how it would enhance Florida’s choice landscape

·       The genesis of Step Up For Students’ motto of “helping public education fulfill the promise of equal opportunity”

·       How education choice empowers educators and promotes entrepreneurship

·       Tuthill’s response to those who doubt a parent’s ability to make good educational decisions for their children

·       What social science has to say about learning and internal motivation and how that message can guide education choice advocates and thought leaders

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