school choice

Kate Payne

United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited Leon County Tuesday, making stops at Holy Comforter Episcopal School and the Florida State University Research School. DeVos used the trip to champion school choice and individual liberties.

Thomas Favre-Bulle /

The First District Court of Appeal has dismissed the Florida Education Association’s lawsuit against the state’s tax credit scholarships.

Jeb Bush/ facebook

After a stint on the campaign trail, former Governor Jeb Bush is returning to run his education advocacy group. The state’s win in the courts this week could make homecoming a little sweeter.

The Florida House has approved several education bills changing everything from the way students can transfer to how how quickly they can advance in school. But some of those proposals face opposition in the Senate when they get there.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools

A massive charter school bill is rolling steadily through the legislature. The measure would create a network of charters and expand online learning. And Democrats are starting to double down on their criticism of state education policy. /

Supporters of the state’s corporate tax scholarship program will gather at the Capitol. They’ve pushed the state teachers union to drop its lawsuit against the program that gives scholarships to low income kids to attend private school. Florida has become one of the nation’s hot spots for school choice programs. While many ideas may have originated in other states, Florida has adopted them and created a massive alternative system.

Denisha Merriweather appears in this promotional video asking the FEA to, "drop the suit"--a reference to its lawsuit against Florida's corporate tax scholarship program.
Save Our Scholarships

A legal challenge to the state’s key school choice program has been tossed by a Leon County judge. The ruling centered on whether the groups bringing the challenge could do it, and not on whether the corporate tax scholarship program is legal.

Toni Richardson

A plan that would allow students to attend any public school in any county is running into head winds in the House. The proposal cleared its most recent committee in a partisan vote, and even its supporters admit it’s got flaws. Still, it’s generating a lot of interest outside the legislature.

DCJohn / Credit dcJohn / Flickr/

Students could soon be able to enroll in any school—public or charter—in the state, as long at there’s space available. The "Public School Choice" proposal is poised to break down the district, and school boundary lines that have existed for decades.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools

A bill presented to the House Education Committee today strengthens the standards for Florida’s charter schools. The bill aims at solving a lot of problems in one swoop.

The Florida Department of Education administers the state's school choice programs.
Florida Department of Education

Florida lawmakers have a spate of charter school bills on the agenda this year. Many of them are continuation of issues about accountability that have cropped up in the past. Now the Senate  is considering what to keep, what to toss, and whether the proposals should be merged together.

A conservative backed group unveiled their legislative agenda for both the state and national levels Thursday.

Americans for Prosperity CEO Luke Hilgemann says he and his staff have talked to millions of people all over the U.S., including the Sunshine state.

There are now more than a thousand students who have tapped into Florida’s newest school choice program.

Lawmakers created a new program to help families of some disabled students pay for their education last year. In a presentation in the House Tuesday, the Florida Department of Education’s Adam Miller says enrollment has doubled.

“As of this morning we had 1,222 students that have received scholarships thus far. We have another couple hundred that are in the queue right now that we anticipate going out in the next couple of weeks.”

Florida House To Vote On School Voucher Expansion

Mar 28, 2014
The Florida Channel

A bill significantly expanding Florida’s school voucher program is headed for the House floor, even though a similar proposal was withdrawn from the Senate, leading many to believe the issue was dead for this session. A Friday committee hearing revived a familiar—and heated—debate on education and religion.  

Republican supporters want to increase funding to the state’s corporate tax scholarship program, they say, for parents who feel public school has failed their children—parents like Tallahassee mother of five Alyson Hochstedler.

Florida Senate

Another school choice bill looks to be in trouble in the Florida Legislature. The Senate Education Committee has watered down a proposal that would have established a statewide contract for charter schools.

LHatter / WFSU News

The relationship between traditional public schools and their charter counterparts has long been fraught with tension, and that relationship may get even worse, despite claims by Florida lawmakers.

Charter schools get state money but are largely free of many of the rules and regulations governing traditional public schools. There are nearly 600 public charter schools in Florida and they exist in a majority of Florida’s school districts. It’s up to locally-elected school officials to approve or deny agreements creating charters, but that control could soon go away.

Florida House / Florida Senate

Florida legislative leaders are pushing a big education agenda this year that features revamped higher education funding proposals and an overhaul to the state’s embattled school grading formula.

LHatter / WFSU News

A Leon County couple is being charged with 10 misdemeanors for what the state says equates to failing to educate their eight children. The parents say they home school their kids, and that the case is a failure to recognize the rights of home schooling parents.


School Choice groups say they want parity in Florida’s education system. That parity mainly comes in the form of funding for building and maintenance money for charter schools. The groups held their annual rally at the Capitol Wednesday, drawing a comparison between the Civil Rights Movement and the Jim Crow era in its push for greater support.

A group of children sang “Sweet “Low, Sweet Chariot” as parents, other kids and school choice advocates pushed their agenda during a rally at Florida’s Capitol Tuesday.  

The number of children enrolled in Florida’s publicly funded school choice options has grown exponentially over the last decade. That’s according to state education officials giving updates to lawmakers in a House Education Sub-Committee.

The focus of this year’s Presidential race has been the economy and which candidate—President Barack Obama or GOP nominee Mitt Romney—is better suited to deal with it. What isn’t making campaign headlines this time around is education. And when it comes to education policy, both men share similar ideas that have been promoted by Florida’s former Governor, Jeb Bush.

Tallahassee, FL – Two Leon County parents are being charged with not requiring their children to go to school. And not just public school, any school. The parents say they home school their children, but the charges against them tell a different story, and reveal the pitfalls of a particular brand of school choice that's a lot less regulated than all the others.