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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Back in the USA


The medieval walls of Girona, Spain

We returned from Barcelona last night, so I'm a bit jet-lagged -- and where was my breakfast buffet this morning? -- but the blog is back.


While I was touring the Roman ruins in Tarragona, walking the medieval walls of Girona and eating calamari at the harbor of Calella de Palafrugell, Florida passed a law offering school vouchers and education savings accounts to all families. The Sunshine State is now the nation's largest school choice laboratory, writes Kevin Mahnken on The 74.


Florida retakes the school choice crown from West Virginia and Arizona, write Corey DeAngelis and Nathan Cunneen in a Fox commentary. Iowa, Utah, and Arkansas also have enacted universal school choice legislation. Georgia, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas could be next. They predict red high-choice states will have a competitive advantage over blue no-choice states.


In the short run, there won't be a mass exodus of public school students because private schools don't have that many empty seats and expanding school options takes time. But not that much time.


I also wonder how choice will change debates over issues such as sex ed in elementary school, school library books on gender identity and race and whether "social emotional learning" includes name-your-privileges worksheets. Traditional public schools are losing enrollment in many places already: Ignoring parents' values is a high-cost strategy -- and it's a lot costlier if everyone can afford the school of their choice. But no school can make everyone happy.

3 Comments


Guest
Mar 31, 2023

With any luck, this will open the floodgates and speed up the destruction of the American public school system. It started failing around the 1970s and is now completely moribund. Let's move on to something new before the corpse stinks up the place.

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Guest
Mar 31, 2023

I suspect more NYers are packing up. Look at it from the viewpoint of a nonspecial needs parent -- grade level material isn't being taught, and Regents has been watered down to 'just enough for a pass' in all but the most exclusive districts. Folks I know that decamped since no child gets ahead are very happy to have Florida Virtual School. They want grade level or better academics to be available to their children, and they want all the units, not just the minimum. District is getting plenty of retirees that qualify for a 50% property(incl school) tax exemption and dropped electives a decade ago. Enrollment is already down 20% as people vote for academics with their fee…

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Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
Mar 31, 2023

Basic schools to satisfy compulsory education should make most citizens happy; the strategy of aiming to satisfy half of the public, while demanding taxation of everyone, is going to prove a loser for no-choice states like the Newsom Democrats' California -- instead, millions will decamp to high choice states, especially for upper secondary education in private schools like One World High College of Mathematics & Sciences.

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