fbpx

Private School Vouchers

Fund Our Future: Our students success depends on having a safe, healthy and effective learning environments. Reduced funding at the state level — due to public monies being given to private and religious schools — has robbed students of this right. This trend needs to be reversed.

Article IX of Florida’s Constitution clearly states that it is a “paramount duty” for the state to adequately fund a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high-quality system of free public schools.”

However, over the past two decades, the legislature has failed to meet that mandate. Year after year politicians hand over more and more public dollars to unaccountable, privately-run and religious schools.

Rather than ensuring every student’s success by funding a high-quality, uniform system, Florida has funded parallel systems run by for-profit charter corporations and unaccountable religious and private schools.

When it comes to private school performance, we don’t know if their students are receiving a basic education. Private schools are exempt from our state’s teacher certification and curriculum standards and from reporting comparable student progress. A three-part Orlando Sentinel investigative report, “Schools Without Rules”, raised very serious concerns about the lack of oversight of Florida’s voucher schools.

What we do know is that the majority of students who attend these private schools through the state’s voucher program only do so for one or two years. When those students return to public schools, they score lower than students who never left.

Despite all of that, the Legislature continues to divert more funds from public schools to unaccountable privately-run and religious schools. Nearly $970 million of Florida’s combined K-12 expenditures are spent on private school vouchers. Returning these taxpayer dollars to public schools would directly benefit the schools that educate all of Florida’s students.

The facts are clear: For-profit charters and private schools that accept vouchers spend more per student for administrative and overhead costs than neighborhood public schools. That means fewer of our public dollars are spent in the classroom. Taxpayers are funding a parallel system that is more wasteful and inefficient than a single school system.

Neighborhood public schools educate almost 80% of Florida’s students and remain the top choice for parents and students across the state. The legislature needs to respect the choice of those who choose public schools and meet their constitutional obligation to adequately fund a uniform system of education.

Additional Resources:

Sign up for Frontline Email & Access the Frontline Archives

At the end of each week, we send a recap of the goings on in…

Read more about this story

2020 Legislative Agenda

Florida’s abysmal record on education has resulted in over a decade of neglect for our…

Read more about this story

Ways to Stay Connected

Here are quick and easy ways you can stay connected and on top of the…

Read more about this story

Thousands of Floridians Rally for Public Education on January 13

The Take on Tallahassee Rally brought a sea of red-clad public education stakeholders and supporters to Florida’s capital city on Jan. 13. Demonstrators took their case straight to lawmakers’ doorstep

Read more about the rally

2020 Legislative Session Resources

This page is your one-stop shop for all the resources you need to follow along with this legislative session and to successfully advocate for students, educators and public education.

Read more about this story

Best and Brightest Program Settlement

In 2017, the FEA filed a lawsuit against the Department and Florida’s school districts and other special districts in the federal court in Tallahassee.  The lawsuit claims that the SAT/ACT…

Read more about this story

FEA: DeSantis fails to provide real solutions for public schools

TALLAHASSEE — Thousands of educators and supporters delivered the “state of the state” for public…

Read more about this story

Thousands to rally in state capital Jan. 13 for students, public schools

TALLAHASSEE — Thousands of public education stakeholders and supporters will “Take on Tallahassee” on Monday,…

Read more about this story

While the governor proposes a stay-the-course plan, we have a truly bold vision for Florida’s schools

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Education Association (FEA) is calling for a truly bold vision for…

Read more about this story