Gardiner Scholarship

What’s on the Florida Legislature’s school choice agenda this year

Standardized testing issues are expected to consume much of lawmakers’ focus once the Florida Legislature convenes its annual 60-day session today. But there’s room on the agenda for school choice bills, even if they’re not expected to trigger the high-profile legislative drama we’ve seen in recent years. Florida’s past two legislative sessions have produced measures[Read More…]

Senate panel approves expansion of Florida special needs scholarships

A Florida Senate panel on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation making tweaks to the state’s second-in-the-nation program that provides scholarship accounts for students with special needs. Key changes in SB 602 would make Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts, which were signed into law eight months ago, available to more children with conditions on[Read More…]

Parents speak out for private school scholarships in Tallahassee

Headlines in the days leading up to Jeb Bush’s closely watched visit to Tallahassee promised there would be protests. As it turned out, there were two demonstrations, one supporting private school choice programs and one opposing them. On Tuesday, a phalanx of nearly 20 protesters gathered in a barricaded area outside a[Read More…]

Applications open for second year of Florida parental choice accounts

Parents can now apply for the second year of Florida’s newest parental choice program for students with special needs. Applications opened this week for parents who want to use Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts during the 2015-16 school year, more than six months earlier than in the first year of the program. The program was created by 2014[Read More…]

Florida approves organizations to oversee school choice scholarships

The Florida Board of Education approved two non-profit organizations on Wednesday under new requirements for groups that administer two of the state’s school choice programs. A law change last year added a layer of scrutiny for organizations that fund Florida tax credit scholarships for low-income students and Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts for students with significant special[Read More…]

Union dropping lawsuit against Florida school choice legislation

The legal cloud over Florida’s new special needs scholarship accounts has lifted, as the Florida Education Association has announced it won’t appeal a judge’s ruling dismissing a lawsuit challenging legislation that created the program. The union announced the move Thursday in a statement posted by Florida political observer Saint Petersblog and the Scripps/Tribune Tallahassee Bureau. [Read More…]

School choice 2015: Trends to watch in Florida

Conflict, collaboration and growth. Florida’s parental choice movement saw its share of all three in 2014, as political tensions rose, new legal battles emerged, and more students chose among more educational options than ever. It’s impossible to know for sure how those issues will play out in 2015. But last year’s events point to some likely[Read More…]