fbpx

Charter Schools

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). The changes include increasing the income eligibility limit for families, putting the bill in line with income limits in a similar bill, HB 7075, being considered by the House. Earlier in the week, the House Education Committee convened for the last...
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 schools in Florida and California. Yet these schools are constantly being attacked for profiting off students. The overwhelming majority of Florida private schools serving tax credit scholarship and voucher students are non-profit, but newspaper editorial boards regularly criticize them for...
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 November extra taxes for public schools. Four of the counties made formal decisions prior to the election not to share the revenue from tax increases with charter schools. Supporters of the charter provision argued this week the new legislation is needed...

Commentary: Why school choice transcends politics

By Joy Smith-McCormick Among the most important choices families must make, education commands our focus, as it is the foundation upon which high-functioning, productive citizens are developed. The education sector has been religious in its practices for centuries, but over the last 20 years more options to deliver education have emerged. Just as other sectors have responded to public demand to improve, school choice has evolved to meet families’ need for a higher-quality education. At the core of the school choice debate is a personal choice parents must make about the educational model that works best for their children. Most...
school choice

House committee approves charter funding bill

A bill that would require Florida school districts to share tax revenues with charter schools is headed to the House floor. The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday voted 15-2 to approve a package of tax issues (PCB WMC 19-02), a section of which addresses charter schools being denied funding from voter-approved local tax referendums. In November, voters in eight Florida counties approved extra taxes for public schools. Four of the counties – Alachua, Lee, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach – made formal decisions prior to the election not to share the revenue from tax increases with charter schools,...

revisitED: Small schools, public and private, fill special niche for children 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 November 2015, relates the story of a South Florida mom who refused to give up until she found the right school for her daughter. by Travis Pillow When Charleen Decort was looking for the right school for her daughter, she traveled around South Florida, looking at factors some parents rarely consider, like the color of the walls and the shade of the lights. When she found her...

revisitED – Jeb Bush: Information is power for low-income parents

Editor’s note: Today, redefinED continues to review pieces published previously on school accountability. This post, which originally appeared in June 2016, features former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in an interview conducted by a student who attended school on a tax credit scholarship. All parents should have access to "consumer reports" on schools in their area — public or private, magnet or charter — and be able to choose among them. Once their children are enrolled in a school, they should get meaningful updates on how well they're doing. It might seem simple, but for too many parents, that's not how the school system works,...

Charter school students continue to outperform peers in traditional public schools

Students in Florida charter schools are outperforming their peers in traditional schools in nearly every category according to the Florida Department of Education’s annual charter school performance report, released today. The analysis used 2017-18 school year data to examine the average performance of charter school students and traditional public school students in terms of grade level achievement, learning gains and achievement gap. Data included in the report, based on more than 4.2 million test scores, was derived from student performance on the Florida Standards Assessments for English language arts and mathematics as well as statewide assessments for science and social...