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Florida Education

Report: Florida last in public education


A new Network for Public Education report grades Florida an "F" for its public school funding.

As Florida lawmakers negotiate the state budget in the final days of the legislative session, the Public Schooling in America report has sparked concern among educators and policymakers. The report says the Sunshine State struggles in key areas, including financial support for public schools, the impact of voucher and charter-school programs, and teacher-certification requirements.

Damaris Allen, executive director of Families for Strong Public Schools, has two children who graduated from the same public high school she attended 25 years earlier and has seen firsthand the lack of investment in public education.

"The opportunities I had versus the opportunities they had - you could see that we have opted not to invest in our public schools in the way our children deserve," she said. "I think the bright side of this report is that we have nowhere to go but up."

Lawmakers are working through next year's $28.4 billion Pre-K-12 public school budget. The House and Senate are negotiating differences over a teacher pay increase. The Senate is pitching $200.5 five million, while the House is proposing $1.3 million more.

According to the report, 74% of students attend public schools, down from 86% in 2000. The report ranks states based on various factors, including voucher and charter expansion, public school funding, and protections for home-schooled students.

Moira Kaleida, national coalition director for the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, said for-profit corporations manage more than 30% of charter schools in Florida.

"And so it's become a money-making scheme more than it has become an educational program," she said, "so when we see the focus on profits, we know the investments aren't on students."

The report highlights several findings, including the loss of rights for students with disabilities under voucher programs and the lack of certification requirements for teachers in many voucher-accepting schools. The report calls on stakeholders to consider the long-term consequences of education policies while emphasizing the crucial role of public schools in delivering high-quality, inclusive education to students.

Florida, Florida Education, Public Schools, Florida News Connection, Vouchers, Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, Public Schooling in America, Families for Strong Public Schools


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  • Gatlaw

    As a former educator, I am appalled at the changes to Florida's curriculi by the DeSantis regime. It's not an administration for the people or by the people it is DeSantis, period. His war against "woke" is madness. "Woke" is another word for "caring", "respectful" and "thoughtful". People who care, are respectful of others and thoughtful in their actions are to be applauded, while folks who ridicule them ought to be shunned. Our nation has, for centuries, been known as tolerant of others, especially others who look and sound different. Of course slavery was our biggest hypocrisy, as was our internment if Americans with Japanese heritage during WW2. Now DeSantis is doing it again with his war on DEI, LBGTQ issues and **** bans. Pure Thuggery!

    Monday, March 4 Report this