For more than a decade, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute has hosted a weekly podcast, the Education Gadfly Show. On this week’s episode, Step Up For Students president Doug Tuthill joins Mike Petrilli, the Fordham Institute’s president and a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and David Griffith, a senior research and policy associate at the Fordham Institute, to discuss the potential impact of, and lessons learned, from Florida’s new school choice expansion in a segment titled, “Hooray for Florida’s new school choice legislation.”
Here’s a taste of what you’ll hear from Tuthill as he reflects on the landmark expansion of education choice in Florida.
“I think the Legislature said, ‘Okay, it’s time to grow up. We can integrate these programs, make them more simple and more elegant, easier for families to access,’ and that’s the big message in this bill. It significantly improved access. Over 1 million students were added to the eligibility through this program. The legislation dramatically expands the number of children who have access.”
“These programs have been islands. We’ve now integrated them into the funding system of the state of the normal public education funding mechanism. What you’re really seeing is a simplification over time, making them more user friendly, and sort of a normalization. It’s now a normal part of public education … It’s now normal in Florida.”
“We wanted to make sure no families are left out. Our philosophy has never been that only some kids deserve access to the school that best meets their needs … We’ve never been a pro-private school choice organization. We’ve always been a pro-education choice organization … When we find families who are being priced out or locked out, we try to reduce those barriers to maximize access for every family and every child.”
You can listen to the podcast here.