fbpx

Private School Vouchers

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:

FEA’s statement on the Attack on Workers’ Rights, SB 1746

Today, the Florida Senate Rules Committee passed SB 1746, an anti-worker bill sponsored by Senator Blaise Ingoglia (R-11) that would place additional mandates on any person seeking to join their…

Read more about FEA’s statement on the Attack on Workers’ Rights, SB 1746

Education Leaders Push To “Save Sociology” in Universities Amid State Board of Education’s College Removal

Education leaders are calling on the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) to “Save Sociology” and reconsider an amendment that would remove Principles of Sociology as a general education core course…

Read more about Education Leaders Push To “Save Sociology” in Universities Amid State Board of Education’s College Removal

Halfway Through the School Year, Teacher and Staff Vacancies Remain Too High

New teacher vacancy numbers show that halfway through the school year there are still 4096 advertised instructional vacancies in Florida schools and 3457 support staff vacancies, for a total of…

Read more about Halfway Through the School Year, Teacher and Staff Vacancies Remain Too High

FEA leadership: We stand united for our students

Let us say first, we are honored to lead this organization and to have you as a member.

Read more about FEA leadership: We stand united for our students

Help for kids who are hurting

Through Steve’s Club, Cori Lake Walls wants to ensure no grieving student goes unnoticed or unheard

Read more about Help for kids who are hurting

$1,200 worth of turkeys and a lot of love

Lakisha Ayers-White and her student volunteers provide supplies for Thanksgiving dinners with all the trimmings to dozens of union families

Read more about $1,200 worth of turkeys and a lot of love