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Private Schools

family empowerment scholarship

‘Monumental day’: Senate passes Family Empowerment Scholarship

In a party-line vote, the Florida Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would create the state-funded Family Empowerment Scholarship, which would eliminate the waiting list for low-income families seeking the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC) and expand school choice opportunities for thousands of others. The legislation, SB 7070, would serve 18,000 students in the program’s first year. The number may expand each year by a quarter of one percent of the state’s total public school enrollment. A similar bill pending in the House, HB 7075, would accommodate 28,000 students in the first year. There are about 13,000 students on...
school choice

From held back to no holding back

LAKE CITY, Fla. – Sitting in the principal’s office of her twin sons’ school, Kim Glover pushed aside a couple of strands of wavy, auburn hair and took a breath to compose herself as she recounted the boys’ stunning transformation. “I’ll try not to cry,” she said with her mellifluous Southern drawl. After the family endured a drawn-out, painful divorce, Torey and Trinidy went from failing classroom distractions to model students, from being retained in seventh grade to posting high GPAs. Her boys did the heavy lifting, but Kim says it wouldn’t have been possible without the stable, nurturing environment of Lake...
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...
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 century, a group of “Indian Schools” was established. Authorities forcibly separated families and attempted to forcibly assimilate students, even beating them for speaking their native language. In addition to being barbaric and illiberal, these and other federal efforts have left...

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. It was hard for her to connect with others. She grew impatient easily. Her struggles mirrored those of children everywhere who grow up with profound autism. This all changed when she met Trina Middleton, a teacher with Duval County Public Schools. Middleton said...
school choice

Commentary: Free public schools won’t ever work for all children

Editor’s note: This opinion piece, written by the executive director of the Florida Parent Network, appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat March 27. Imagine grocery shopping with your friend. She lives near a safe and convenient store with a wide variety of options that meet the nutritional needs of your family. Now imagine that you can only shop in your neighborhood. The store near you doesn’t have what you need, but that’s too bad. The only way you can shop with your friend is to move into her neighborhood. This, in a nutshell, is the system championed by Sally Butzin. In her recent op-ed, she...
microschool

Ron Clark Academy: We have to give teachers more freedom

I recently had the opportunity to visit Ron Clark Academy, where I got “slide certified” and my mind was blown. I’ve been to many outstanding schools over the last two decades, but I’ve never seen a school with the energy to match RCA. RCA is a micro-school in Atlanta where 75 percent of the students receive aid from Georgia’s tax credit scholarship program. A private school covering grades 5-8, RCA plans to include fourth-graders next year. The enthusiasm of the kids and the staff is off the charts, as you can see in this video. Two young ladies in sixth...

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...