Floridians want more school choice

Floridians want more school choice

Bottom Line: Within a couple months Florida’s Education Secretary, Richard Corcoran, will unveil his recommendations to overhaul education in Florida. This was a one-year project Governor Ron DeSantis tasked him with upon becoming Education Secretary. The big picture change will be a move away from Common Core and into a new curriculum. Other key details could include the expansion of public funds for school choice. 

School choice programs have been increasingly popular and increasingly used by Floridians. Registration for programs is currently underway in South Florida at the county level. Currently 31,000+ Florida students are using some form of school choice initiative offered by the state. This includes five different programs ranging from scholarships, to “lottery” style opportunities, programs for bullied children, low income families and special needs students. Despite the expansion of programs in recent years, fewer than 2% of all Florida students are using one of these programs. But the desire for greater access and opportunity is strong.

New polling from Real Clear continues to show school choice as one of the most broadly supported initiatives in our society today. According to the Real Clear study...

  • 68% support school choice
  • Only 22% oppose school choice

Those are overwhelmingly high figures, in fact, the issue is about as bipartisan as major issues come in our society. In fact, that number jumps to greater than 75% for parents who have kids in school right now. 

Support based on political party of choice is as follows:

  • Democrats: 69%
  • Republicans: 73%
  • Independents: 68%

That’s compelling. Support doesn’t come much more evenly than what you see with school choice. And here’s one of the most compelling figures of all. For parents with children in schools right now...

  • 69% would prefer their child or children attend a school other than what what’s been assigned to them

It’s nearly safe to say that only the education establishment, led by the teacher's unions, don’t want school choice. Most importantly its working in Florida which is why we continue to expand the programs. Our government is supposed to represent our interests. These are our tax dollars being used for education. If we want dramatically expanded school choice in overwhelming numbers,we should get it. It’s my hope and expectation to see choice as a cornerstone of Florida’s agenda when Richard Corcoran rolls out his proposals for Florida early next year.

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