Author: Doug Tuthill

Florida Legislature is normalizing, expanding access to education choice

The Florida House and Senate have sent Gov. Ron DeSantis legislation that will continue normalizing and expanding access to choice in public education. Florida began expanding access to education choice in the late 1970s/early ’80s through the creation of district magnet schools. Next came charter schools and the Florida Virtual[Read More…]

Florida Legislature heads into historic session

The 175-year-old Florida Legislature, which turns 176 on May 26, reconvenes today for its annual 60-day legislative session. The largest global pandemic since 1918 has played havoc with the state’s budget, so money, as usual, will be the dominant issue. About 85,000 school district students were no-shows this year. The[Read More…]

Further evidence that Florida’s lower-income students will benefit from access to ESAs

There are many important policy improvements in Florida Senate Bill 48, the innovative education choice legislation sponsored by Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. that is receiving so much national attention. But my favorite enhancement is the creation of education savings accounts (ESAs) for lower-income families. This year, Florida is providing scholarships[Read More…]

Much to celebrate in Florida as school choice is recognized nationwide

National School Choice Week kicked off Sunday and will continue through this Saturday. This year’s celebration is especially meaningful for Step Up For Students given it coincides with our 20th anniversary of serving disadvantaged students and their families. Over the last 20 years, Step Up has raised about $5 billion[Read More…]

Black students need empowerment and support, not white paternalism

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board decision and the 1968 conflict between the white New York City teachers union and the Black Ocean Hill-Brownsville community were historic events. Together they helped make well-intentioned white paternalism the primary way public education has related to Black students and their families[Read More…]

The 1960s leftist rationale for education choice is rising from the dead

As I talk with parents and educators who are struggling to create safe and effective learning options for their students, I’m taken with how many are revisiting the left-wing education reformers of the 1960s. Names like John Holt, Ivan Illich, A.S. Neill, and Paulo Freire are coming up so often[Read More…]

How should state and local officials regulate parent teachers?

State and local officials in Florida are discussing how to best regulate parents who are facilitating learning pods, homeschooling cooperatives and micro-schools that satisfy Florida’s mandatory school attendance law. For the last 175 years, the distinction between parents and public-school teachers was clear. But COVID-19 has muddied the waters. In[Read More…]

The evolving public education market

Public education has historically been a poorly managed, underperforming market. The pandemic is driving changes that could, over time, lead to market improvements that will benefit families, students, educators and the public. In effective and efficient markets, consumers control their purchasing power, monopolies do not exist, the barriers to entry[Read More…]