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More Promise for School Choice Expansion in Florida
By Amelia Hamilton on August 21, 2012
Things are looking good for a possible expansion of school choice in Florida. In House and Senate primary races, more than twenty candidates who support school choice won their nominations. These candidates, from across the political spectrum, will be giving Florida parents greater options in educating their children.
A welcome trend in school choice is its increasingly bipartisan nature. As Jeff Reed, of the Friedman Foundation for School Choice said “This is what happens when states empower parents and pass broad-based school choice programs-- people see the results, and they can’t sit idly by; they want to get involved. So, if these things start out as partisan, even though in many cases they don’t...over time, they become increasingly bipartisan.”
John F. Kirtley of the American Federation for Children, said that these “victories confirm the trend that has been happening in Florida and across the country for years, and that’s increasingly strong bipartisan support for giving kids access to the educational opportunities they all deserve.”
One of the main goals in getting these officials elected is to have the “Parent Trigger” bill which failed last March, pass in the next legislative session. This bill would give parents with children in failing schools a great deal of power. For example, parents would be able to decide on measures to improve the schools, even if that means turning the school into a charter school. Although the public education system won last year, it looks like parents and students might win this time around.