Policy Wonks

podcastED: Senator Jeff Brandes on the future of public education

If you ask Florida Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) what he thinks the education world will look like in the year 2040, he’ll tell you it will be going back to the past. “I see us moving back to the one-room schoolhouse where we have students of different capabilities working[Read More…]

How public education can learn from the health care reform debate

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis caused an uproar recently when he commented that all publicly-funded K-12 education services are part of public education. He was speaking about a proposed new education voucher program that, if it becomes law, will give low-income and working-class families public funds to help pay for private[Read More…]

Montana school choice case appealed to U.S. Supreme Court

Montana parents appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court last week, asking the court to overturn a ruling that found tax-credit scholarships unconstitutional in the state. The Montana Supreme Court had ruled 5-2 in December that the state’s tax credit scholarship program violated the state’s constitutional bans aid to sectarian schools.[Read More…]

tax credit scholarship

Setting the record straight on choice scholarships

As Florida senators get their first look today at a new private school scholarship for economically disadvantaged students, some familiar taunts about academic results for the existing Tax Credit Scholarship have resurfaced. Be wary of rhetorical flourish. Yes, the low-income scholarship students are not required to take the Florida Standard[Read More…]

Reviewing the past as a path to the future

Editor’s note: March 2 marked the 20th anniversary of the legislative session in which Florida Gov. Jeb Bush launched a series of K-12 reforms that transformed education throughout the state. (No, I can’t believe it’s been 20 years either.) Beginning today, as the 2019 Florida legislative session is set to[Read More…]

Urban Institute findings encourage an opportunity powerup

A new study from the Urban Institute on college enrollment/completion rates of Florida Tax Credit Scholarship students represents both a triumph and a call for additional action. Let’s touch upon the triumph part first. The analysis shows statistically significant benefits for students participating in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship in[Read More…]

Shoddy statistics nearly doomed school choice in Florida

Do vouchers and charter schools harm public schools, thereby violating the state’s constitutional duty to fund an adequate system of uniform public schools? Until last month’s 4-3 decision in Citizens for Strong Schools v. State Board of Education, the Florida Supreme Court had ignored the empirical question entirely. In Bush[Read More…]