Last week was national school choice week and school choice is succeeding in Florida more than anywhere else.
Choice gives options to families that once had only two choices – government schools or private schools, which generally were expensive.
Today, more than 1.6 million — half the K-12 students in Florida — have choices and exercise them.
Of that number, 361,902 attend charter schools. Another 262,591 utilize open enrollment in 53 Florida school districts.
Also, 252,808 participate in choice and magnet programs at district schools.
There are 171,313 students paying for their education at private schools.
Another 152,109 are educated at home by parents or tutors.
The rest use various voucher programs or other special programs.
The voucher programs, such as tax credit scholarships, are especially beneficial to low-income minority students trapped in failing government schools.
The Education Blob and the powerful teacher union bosses hate the fact that their monopoly is broken and continue to lie about it with such whoppers as “vouchers drain money from public schools.”
The fact that poor minority students are able to get an education infuriates them. In the government schools they can be taught to rely on the government and to vote for a particular political party when they are of voting age – a party largely funded by teacher unions.
There are many people responsible for Florida’s leadership in this field, but none more than former governor Jeb Bush, who led the school choice effort in the late 1990s, and John Kirtley of Tampa, who supported Bush’s efforts and started the first scholarship program.
Arizona once led the nation but choice opponents have caused setbacks and that state’s new Democrat governor is not likely to help.
This leaves Florida and Gov. Ron DeSantis to lead the nation in this important educational innovation.