Jeb’s Empire of School Choice

Diane Ravitch's blog

In large part because of Jeb Bush, Florida is a national leader in privatization. It now has more than 100,000 students using vouchers for private schools, including religious schools, despite the fact that Florida voters rejected a Constitutional amendment to allow vouchers in 2012 by 58-42. The will of the voters is an inconvenient distraction to the privatization industry, nothing more.

Even more are enrolled in a burgeoning charter industry, despite the fact that charters regularly open and close, stranding students, and charters dominate the list of the state’s lowest-performing schools. Of course, Florida is a haven for for-profit entrepreneurs, who are encouraged by the state to open and compete with public schools, while sucking taxpayer dollars out of those public schools and funneling it to their investors.

With so much unrestrained school choice, Florida should be the state with the highest test scores and the highest graduation rate. It…

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