Editor’s note: This post from Malka Kownat-Rhodes, a longtime professional in the special education field and a school funding specialist with Teach Florida, appeared Thursday on Florida Politics.
One of the hottest topics of debate in the Florida legislative session was school choice legislation. For all the back and forth leading up to the passage of SB 48/HB 7045, legislators deserve our thanks for including a key group the proposal will affect: working-class families like mine, who desire a particular kind of education that their children simply can’t get in public schools.
We now look to the governor to finalize this progress by signing the measure into law.
My husband and I work hard to provide a good life for our twin 9-year-old boys. My grandmother survived the horrors of Auschwitz while remaining steadfast to her Jewish values and traditions, and we wanted to cling to that heritage and pass on our faith’s traditions to our children. That was at the core of our decision to send them to a school with both a strong Jewish and secular education.
So much of the school choice discussion in Tallahassee was over whether, and how, the state should help kids attend private schools. But that debate isn’t the central focus for a large group of families where both parents work so they can make ends meet but still want something for their children that public schools cannot provide. Paying for our sons’ schooling isn’t easy, but it’s so very important to us.
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