School Choice

SCOTT KEELER/TAMPA BAY TIMES

A new program that would allow more Florida students to use taxpayer-funded vouchers to pay for private school in Florida has passed — and is likely to end up in a court battle.

Updated at 3:14 p.m.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Republican lawmakers have announced a proposed tax credit that would go toward donations to private school scholarships and other school choice initiatives.

"A great education shouldn't be determined by luck or by address or by family income," DeVos said Thursday at a news conference.

She appeared alongside Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., who said they plan to introduce the tax credit in Congress.

Florida lawmakers will gather March 5 in the House chamber to hear Gov. Ron DeSantis give his first State of the State address, the traditional start of the 60-day legislative session.

Florida Senate Republicans are pushing a new scholarship program that expands school choice. The proposed Family Empowerment Scholarship would pay for low income families to enroll in private schools.

DeSantis Pursues New School Voucher Program

Feb 15, 2019
SHOUT FOR NPR

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday he wants to create a new “equal opportunity” voucher program to eliminate a waiting list of about 14,000 low-income students seeking to use state-backed scholarships to attend private schools.

The governor is asking lawmakers to create a “supplement” to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, the state’s largest voucher-type program, which serves nearly 100,000 students but has about 14,000 others stuck on a waiting list.

WIKIPEDIA

During his campaign for governor, Ron DeSantis credited Republican education reform efforts like charter schools and private school vouchers for improving schools across Florida.

Now he’ll have an education commissioner who appears set to seek to expand those efforts. On Monday, the State Board of Education unanimously approved former Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran to serve in the position. DeSantis recommended Corcoran earlier this month.

In his new role role, Corcoran will be in charge of representing Florida's public education system.

The Florida Roundup: What's To Come In 2017?

Dec 30, 2016
WLRN News

This week on The Florida Roundup...

2016 was the year that defied predictions, but that won't stop our panel of journalists from making some forecasts for the upcoming year.

Screen shot / CREDO

A new study finds students learn less at online charter schools than they do at traditional schools -- and the problem is even worse for Florida students.

New Database Will Track Who Runs Charter Schools

Aug 4, 2015
comedynose / Flickr

Florida school districts will have a new way to track the financial and academic records of charter school operators.

For the first time, a new database is connecting charter schools to who runs them. The goal is to reduce the number of charter schools that close.

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers wants to create a paper trail. The group has launched a database that lists who is operating a school and includes performance data from the website GreatSchools.org.

Sattva / freedigitalphotos.net

Miami-Dade County Public Schools plan to eliminate out-of-school suspensions this year, preferring to keep kids in class and address behavior problems.

School districts around the country have made similar decisions because research and experience shows suspended students often find more trouble outside of school while on suspension. That can mean more neighborhood crime – and more suspended students getting arrested and charged.

Sammy Mack

  This week on the Florida Roundup, we discuss the week's news with the area's top journalists.

LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Clevis Harrison / PBS

This week, PBS is launching a new documentary series, "180 Days."

One of the films focuses on Hartsville, South Carolina, a rural and poor district which has managed to become one of the highest rated school districts, according to South Carolina's ranking.

FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s 7:30 a.m. and the fifth through eight graders at Academy Prep in midtown St. Petersburg are lined up outside to recite the school pledge. It’s a cool February morning and they’re a little fidgety until head of school Gina Burkett raises two fingers above her head and all goes quiet.

The pledge starts with “Standing in this room are the greatest, most committed, most responsible people this world has ever known.”

That may sound slightly immodest, but getting these kids to believe they are capable of great things is a big part of the curriculum here.

Miami Herald

Former Gov. Jeb Bush defended his record on education at a Tallahassee education summit Tuesday, taking on testing, unions and school choice.

But Bush didn't mention Common Core -- the politically caustic multi-state math and language arts standards for which he has been a chief cheerleader. Bush is a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, and many conservatives worry the standards will mean a loss of local control over what's taught in schools.

Rocketship Education

Florida charter schools that consistently earn good grades on the state’s public school report card get special privileges.

Soon, out-of-state charter schools could, too.

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