Making Florida the new ‘promised land’ for education-minded families

About 28% of students at Brauser Maimonides Academy, a Fort Lauderdale Modern Orthodox school, attend on state scholarships.

Editor’s note: This commentary from William Mattox, director of the Marshall Center for Educational Options at The James Madison Institute in Tallahassee and a reimaginED guest blogger, appeared Tuesday on Florida Politics. It was excerpted from a new JMI report presented this week at an international conference in Ireland.

You can read more on this subject here. from reimaginED senior writer Lisa Buie.

An exodus is underway from New York City and its surrounding environs. Many Jews are leaving the Big Apple and moving to the Sunshine State.

And their migration to Florida — America’s Promised Land — is being fueled in part by a very interesting factor: school choice.

“Many young families up north are enticed by Florida’s robust menu of state-supported private-school scholarships,” writes Allan Jacob in the Wall Street Journal. “These programs make private school tuition far more affordable in Florida than in New York and New Jersey.”

Now, at first blush, this “education migration” might seem like a peculiar phenomenon without any relevance beyond a relatively small subpopulation. But there is reason to believe that something much more significant is happening here.

There is reason to believe we are witnessing the beginning of a “new normal” in which many education-minded families move to freedom-loving states that facilitate parents’ efforts to direct the education of their children.

In this new normal, Florida could easily become America’s unrivaled “education destination,” and enjoy the short- and long-term benefits of attracting education-minded parents (and their talented offspring) to the Sunshine State.

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