Aug. 15, 2022

School Choice, More than Ever: Three Big Reasons

By William C. Davell

As Florida’s children return to classrooms, what better time is there to highlight the Sunshine State’s status as a national leader in school choice – and three reasons why that distinction matters more than ever? Even more, it’s worth considering whether, during this year or later, your family should take advantage of the state’s range of offerings that put families and their needs first.

This month’s legal opinion is provided by Tripp Scott's CEO Ed Pozzuoli.

Bill Davell: Why is Choice the Ultimate “Parents’ Revolt?”

Ed Pozzuoli:  “Parents matter.” It’s been a watchword of the “Great Parent Revolt” as moms and dads across America fought back, before school boards and at the ballot box, against COVID lockdowns, mask mandates, and woke policies that put the interests and priorities of education bureaucrats and teachers unions ahead of their children.

Parents are rightfully concerned with:

  • Months and even years of lost learning and the growth of the “achievement gap,”
  • The declaration by public health leaders of “a National State of Emergency in Children’s Mental Health,”
  • Reports of speech development and processing difficulties and immune system concerns resulting from mask mandates,
  • Children being exposed to age-inappropriate material or indoctrination on sexuality and being taught, in Governor DeSantis’s words, “to hate our country or to hate each other.”

And while the district-run school establishment has been circumscribed on these issues by the DeSantis administration and state legislature, they’re not giving up. It’s been reported that “an overwhelming majority of Florida’s teachers” have opposed the law against inappropriate sexual content in particular.


The two bills are being fought in the courts of law and public opinion. Be on the lookout for an adverse court ruling or two and protesting teachers trying to sneak their views into the classroom. 

School choice puts parents in control. It protects parents’ prerogatives and values, and focus on schools’ mission of education, not indoctrinating children. 

Bill Davell: What are Florida’s school choice offerings?

Ed Pozzuoli:  School choice in the Sunshine State comes in a myriad of forms designed to meet the needs of any child:

  • Charter Schools: FDOE defines charter schools as “public schools that operate under a performance contract, or a ‘charter’ which frees them from many regulations created for traditional public schools while holding them accountable for academic and financial results.” Per the Department, some charter schools offer themed learning approaches focusing on areas such as arts, sciences, and technology, and others focus on children with special needs. As of the 2020-21 school year, charter schools in Florida served more than 340,000 children, 51% of whom were low-income and 70% minorities.
  • Florida Opportunity Scholarships allow students in schools earning an "F" or three consecutive "Ds" in statewide assessments to choose a higher-performing public school.
  • Family Empowerment Scholarships for Educational Options enable low-income K-12 students to attend a participating private school.
  • Family Empowerment Scholarships for Students with Unique Abilities provides families of students with disabilities choice of enrollment in another public school or a personal education savings account (ESA) to fund private school tuition and fees or other expenses.
  • The Hope Scholarship enables K-12 students who have been bullied in various ways to transfer to another public school or enroll in an approved private school.
  • Other options within the district-run systems include Virtual Schools, Magnet Schools and programs, and special academic programs such as Advanced Placement (AP), Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), Career Academies, Dual Enrollment, and International Baccalaureate (IB) Diplomas.

Bill Davell: Can school choice options compete with traditional public schools?

Ed Pozzuoli:  A range of measures demonstrates how school choice delivers for Florida families:

  • FLDOE reported that 2018 data found “students in charter schools outperformed their peers in traditional schools in nearly every category,” and that these showings held across African-American, Hispanic and school-lunch-entitled students, by far the majority of charter students.
  • That performance was held during the pandemic, a period of widespread learning loss. FLDOE reported last year that charter schools were the only category that didn’t show declines in the English Language Arts portion of the Grade 3 Florida Standards Assessment, outranking traditional counterparts by fully 8 percentage points – 61% vs. 53% at Level 3 or above.
  • According to US News and World Report rankings last year, 21 of Florida’s top 100 high schools were charters.

The Urban Institute has also found that Florida Tax Credit Scholarship beneficiaries – 68% minorities – are markedly more likely to go on to and more important, graduate from college.

Where should parents go to learn more about the power and performance of school choice in Florida? A great place to start is the resources offered by FLOE at www.fldoe.org/schools/school-choice/.

Categories


Fresh


Grand jury’s damning report on public schools is proof that parental choice is best

As Published in the Miami Herald

The recent grand jury report findings only confirm what parents already know — the system is broken.

Sadly, the report’s release is just another incrimination of the Broward County School Board. The grand jury consisted of 18 volunteer members of our community from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach voter rolls representing a full array of our diverse community. The investigation included a review of thousands of documents with more than 150 witnesses providing testimony. It culminated in several recommendations, including the recommendation that Gov. Ron DeSantis replace four Broward County School Board members for incompetence and neglect of duty.

SECURED LENDERS AND SECURED VENDORS BEWARE

A NEW SUPREME COURT RULING HOLDS THAT IN FLORIDA, THE DEBTOR’S NAME ON A FINANCING STATEMENT MUST BE EXACTLY CORRECT OR THE SECURITY INTEREST MAY BE DECLARED INVALID

Since the mid-1960s, lenders, and vendors in Florida have been able to perfect security interests in personal property collateral in order to help insure repayment of debt. Under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which is contained in Chapters 671 through 679 of the Florida Statutes, three actions need to occur in order for a security interest to be perfected – (1) an agreement in writing creating the security interest (the security agreement), (2) consideration passing between the parties, and (3) in most situations, the filing of a financing statement (UCC-1 form) with the Florida Secured Transactions Registry. The security interest is perfected when the last of the three items occur.

Will the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 Affect Me?

A SPECIAL REPORT by Tripp Scott's Tanya Bower and Christine Yates

The "Inflation Reduction Act," H.R. 5376, (the "Act") was signed into law on August 16, 2022.  Despite the new title, the Act is essentially the scaled-down version of the previously proposed "Build Back Better Act."  Any time legislation is passed, particularly legislation containing tax provisions, the first question clients ask is often the same, "What does this mean for me?"  Below, please find our brief summary of the Act provisions.  For a more detailed discussion, CLICK HERE to read the article. Should you have any questions, please contact us to further discuss how the Act affects your situation specifically.

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