Author: Jon East

Auditor General releases annual review of Florida scholarship programs

In its fifth annual audit of Step Up For Students, the state’s largest nonprofit scholarship funding organization, the Florida Auditor General today issued what amounted to a clean bill of health. The report included findings on data procedures and scholarship purchase returns, both of which have been fixed by the[Read More…]

FACT-CHECKED: Tallahassee educator’s attack on ‘monstrous’ system is misleading

Editor’s note: The goal of fact-checkED is to bring clinical precision to complex issues that are easily misunderstood, aiming to counteract incorrect information before it continues to circulate.   Sally Butzin has a rich and accomplished history in public education, as a classroom teacher, instructional innovator and published author. But her[Read More…]

fact-checkED: Sanders’ education choice claims in Florida op-ed misleading

With the presidential primary election in delegate-rich Florida just two months away, Democratic candidates are beginning to knock on the door. In a Monday column in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders found little to like about Florida’s public education system. But our focus is on educational choice[Read More…]

redefinED’s 2019 Myth of the Year

Editor’s note: While education choice misstatements flourished this year, one was especially egregious: the claim that Florida’s new family empowerment voucher was “unprecedented.” Step Up For Students’ special projects director Jon East revisits this claim and explains why it ranked as the redefinED team’s Myth of the Year.  As Florida[Read More…]

fact-checkED: This ‘quick fact’ about scholarships hurting public schools is no fact at all

A story in Sunday’s Lakeland Ledger about a union-sponsored public education summit in Polk County included a chart of “Quick Facts” that bears scrutiny. One of them, about the financial impact of Florida Tax Credit Scholarships, is false. The statement: “In 2018, tax-credit scholarship programs totaled $1.058 billion, money that[Read More…]

fact-checkED: Family Empowerment Scholarships are not the only state-funded voucher

Editor’s note: We add a new feature today, called fact-checkED, that is inspired by the many factchecking efforts across the media landscape these days. Our work will focus solely within the arena of educational choice, and our goal is to bring clinical precision to issues that are often complex and[Read More…]

Blaine amendments ‘discriminate against all religion’

As religious and education interest groups furiously file amicus briefs in the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case on whether states can ban faith-based schools from voucher programs, a respected Catholic university professor is offering a remarkably dispassionate plea: Don’t reject Blaine amendments because they were born of Catholic bigotry; ban[Read More…]