Education in Florida–Betsy DeVos’s Model for the Nation–is in Chaos

Valerie Strauss summarizes here the mess created in Florida by former Governor Jeb Bush’s harsh accountability policies and the legislation passed recently to enrich the charter industry at the expense of public schools across the state.

She begins:

“The K-12 education system in Florida — the one that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos likes to praise as a model for the nation — is in chaos.

“Traditional public school districts are trying to absorb the loss of millions of dollars for the new school year that starts within weeks. That money, which comes from local property taxes, is used for capital funding but now must be shared with charter schools as a result of a widely criticized $419 million K-12 public education bill crafted by Republican legislative leaders in secret and recently signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott — at a Catholic school.

“Critics, including some Republicans, say the law will harm traditional public schools, threaten services for students who live in poverty and curb local control of education while promoting charter schools and a state-funded voucher program.

“The law creates a “Schools of Hope” system that will turn failing traditional public schools into charter schools that are privately run but publicly funded. The law also sets out the requirement for districts to share capital funding.

“The man behind the Schools of Hope initiative was Republican House Speaker of Florida Richard Corcoran, whose wife founded a charter school in Pasco County. But as this recent Miami Herald opinion piece notes, a number of Republican lawmakers in the state legislature have financial stakes in the charter industry. “Florida’s broad ethics laws are a joke,” wrote Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago.”

School districts are planning to sue to stop the implantation of the charter industry’s raid on public school budgets.

When you read about this mess, bear in mind that this is what DeVos wants to inflict on the nation.

from novemoore


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