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Tags: florida | public | schools | school choice | ron desantis | florida | governor

Many Florida Public Schools Mull Closure as Parental Choice Soars

By    |   Tuesday, 28 May 2024 12:32 PM EDT

As parental choice continues to fuel the growth of charter and private schools in Florida, many of the state's public schools will be shutting down.

As Florida's population steadily rises, public school enrollment is simultaneously declining, illustrating a "blueprint" to which Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis hopes other states will follow, Politico reported.

"We need some big changes throughout the country," DeSantis said last week at the Florida Homeschool Convention in Kissimmee. "Florida has shown a blueprint, and we really can be an engine for that as other states work to adopt a lot of the policies that we've done."

In March of 2023, DeSantis signed legislation promoting school choice for parents and students by removing financial eligibility restrictions and the previous enrollment cap.

"Florida is No. 1 when it comes to education freedom and education choice, and today's bill signing represents the largest expansion of education choice in the history of these United States," DeSantis said at the time.

The conservative model for education has often been to have the money follow the child. DeSantis has used his popularity and a vast Republican control of statewide offices to implement changes that have resulted in massive growth in private schools and a massive drop in public school enrollment.

Broward County Public Schools, Florida's second largest school district, claims to have more than 49,000 empty classroom seats this year and is considering a plan to close as many as 42 campuses over the next several years. Broward public school officials noted the number of empty seats "closely matched" the 49,833 students attending charter schools in the area. Miami-Dade county public schools have also seen a massive drop in enrollment over the past four years.

Opinion varies as to the primary cause of the shift, with some pointing to how schools handled the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020, while others blame many districts adoption of "woke" policies.

Still others simply cite market economics and that the movement away from public schools started long before then. According to the Florida Department of Education, since 2013 more than 600 private schools have been established in the Sunshine State with close to 120,000 students choosing private education over public.

"If your product is better, you'll be fine. The problem is, they are a relic of the past — a monopolized system where you have one option," Chris Moya, a Florida lobbyist representing charter schools, told Politico. "And when parents have options, they vote with their feet."

James Morley III

James Morley III is a writer with more than two decades of experience in entertainment, travel, technology, and science and nature. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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As parental choice continues to fuel the growth of charter and private schools in Florida, many of the state's public schools will be shutting down.
florida, public, schools, school choice, ron desantis, florida, governor
410
2024-32-28
Tuesday, 28 May 2024 12:32 PM
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