Florida doesn’t believe in competition, they believe in crony capitalism. (draft)

One of the ever changing narratives calling for school choice is competition will improve education, a lot of the others have to do with zip codes. They say if public schools are forced to compete they will improve. Well friends nothing could be farther from the truth and instead it’s crony capitalism that is being pushed to the detriment of our children and all of Florida. 


Florida funds public schools, charter schools, which are public only in so much as the public pays for them and vouchers for private schools. Tallahassee isn’t inspiring competition, no instead they are picking winners and losers.


The states public schools are saddled with onerous regulations, unfunded mandates and high stakes testing. Now it’s true charter schools do have to take the FSA but since they can engineer who they take and keep, the stakes aren’t nearly as high as they are in public schools. Then voucher schools don’t have to take any high stakes test at all.  It’s almost as if accountability for them doesn’t matter.


Then every year more unfunded mandates comes out of Tallahassee, this year they were mental health and holocaust education. Well friends charter schools are exempt from them because reasons, most likely because it would cut into their profit margin and voucher schools can teach whatever they want and more than a few teach, funded by the public, that dinosaurs and people coexisted. 


From the Florida Phoenix,


Following a scandal related to teaching the Holocaust and questions about whether African American history has been ignored, the Florida Department of Education is moving to require detailed annual reports from districts on what’s being taught across dozens of courses and topics.
And the agency is essentially threatening sanctions if public schools don’t comply. That could mean withholding state dollars, grant funds and lottery proceeds used to fund public schools, among other measures.
The agency is pushing those requirements by setting up new state rules, though they are not finalized yet. First, people will be able to weigh in on the proposals in a comment period that goes from Aug. 26 to Sept. 16.
Under the proposed rules, each school district, by July 1, would have to provide an annual report to the Education Commissioner outlining information from the prior school year on courses required by state law.
Districts would need to show “the specific courses in which instruction will be delivered for each grade level,” and “a description of the materials and resources utilized to deliver instruction.”
Wow quite the requirements that just public schools have to comply with.
Did you know the majority of private schools that take vouchers don’t have to report how they spend the money they received and the states leading voucher provider, Step up for students just received a scathing audit?
Do you think Tallahassee will care? My bet is the same group that pushes for more charters despite the fact hundreds have failed won’t even shrug their shoulders.  Matters made worse by the fact some of their biggest donors are charter school operators, i mean the for the ones that aren’t employed by or have family members that operate charters themselves. 
Throw in starving schools of resources while throwing more and more money to charters and vouchers and what more do you need?
Tallahassee couldn’t care less about competition as they have set up a system that favors vouchers and charters, if they did all three would be on equal footing, but they aren’t. No, Tallahassee is only interested in picking winners and losers, with vouchers and charters being the chosen ones, while public schools where most children attend being set up to fail.  

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