Commentary: Bill to expand school choice gives parents more control over their child’s education

Olivia Huron-Schaeffer’s son David benefited for six years from a Gardiner Scholarship. Her other three children – Abigail, Alysia and Daniel – used the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for low-income families to attend a private school.

Editor’s note: This opinion piece from Olivia Huron-Schaeffer, a parent in Brevard County, appeared Friday in Florida Today.

My 15-year-old son David is on the autism spectrum and for six years he has benefitted from a popular state program called the Gardiner Scholarship. The Gardiner Scholarship is a flexible spending account that allows parents to mix and match materials and services – tuition, tutors, technology, curriculum, etc. – to create exactly the right education program for their child.

Back in public school, David fell through the cracks. He was held to low expectations and never received the services he was entitled to under law. But with a Gardiner Scholarship, I’ve had the resources to homeschool him, and now he is learning and thriving in a way I never thought possible.

I wish the same thing were available for my other kids, and I know other parents do too.

This year, it might happen.

State lawmakers are set to consider a bill that would turn the state’s school choice scholarships into flexible spending scholarships. There are thousands of Gardiner parents like me who know what a life changer this would be for families all over Florida.

Read more here.

One Comment

  1. Always remember that good school districts in Florida offer “public choice options” Intra-distirct choice as well as magnet schools –the first school choice. We salute all forms of school choice and thank Andrew for always “putting on a great show” at National School Choice Week.
    Dr. Judith Stein member of the Board of the Florida Charter School Alliance and the School Choice Task Force and
    Founder of Magnet Schools of America as a non-profit in 1991.