Private Schools

Children of color are not the only ones empowered by private school options

As the Florida coordinator of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), I am frequently asked by Democrats in other states why so many elected Florida Democrats support all forms of school choice, including vouchers and tax credit scholarships, but not tenure and teacher pay reforms.  The answer is black middle-class jobs and the rise of black-owned schools. During the days of Jim Crow, school districts were the biggest employers of college educated African-Americans and even though other professions have opened up, school districts today remain a leading employer of college-educated African-Americans.   Consequently, education reforms that are perceived as negatively impacting school...

How CEOs can become a force for education reform

Florida is one of seven states with no personal income tax, which explains why its Tax Credit Scholarship for low-income students depends on corporations for contributions. A rally in St. Petersburg today also explains why the approach strengthens education options in this state. The rally is an annual celebration of the corporate contributors, and it has come to be a sizeable event that is attended by students, parents, educators, civic leaders, mayors, key legislators and governors. Gov.-elect Rick Scott took time away from his busy transition schedule today to speak, and the event was emceed by a University of West...

Private schools with public students need oversight

Fordham reasoned that the more a private school begins through its percentage of voucher or tax credit scholarship students to look like a public school, the more it needs to be regulated like one. That seems fair enough as a working guideline. In Florida, where we have 33,000 tax credit scholarship students who make up on average only 17 percent of the total enrollment in their private schools, the sliding scale approach seems entirely reasonable.

Klein is close, but his call for choices falls short

Outgoing New York schools chancellor Joel Klein is right to identify that low-income families deserve to have the best educational options available to them, but he frames the argument for school choice in a way that stops short of advocating for equal opportunities for our most disadvantaged families.