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State Senate Education Committee hears the good news on school choice

Florida policy continues to trend towards school choice as a way of leveling persistent gaps in resources.

By A.G. Gancarski January 2021
Originally published in The PineApple Report

The Florida Senate Education Committee on Tuesday held its first meeting in advance of the 2021 Legislative Session and the drive to expand school choice was the focus.

Florida policy continues to trend in that direction, with school choice firmly ensconced in the Sunshine State educational canon as a way of leveling persistent gaps in resources.

With the good possibility of more legislation friendly to the sector this year, committee members heard about how school choice is improving outcomes and equalizing opportunity.

Florida Department of Education Senior Chancellor Eric Hall discussed how school choice expands the “large menu of options” for parents and guardians.

“It’s not just about closing gaps, it’s about opportunity in the long term,” he said. “There’s no one better than parents to know what’s best for their child.”

“Choice is not necessarily anything that’s new,” Hall added, noting private schools and the like existed, for those who could afford it, in previous eras.

“Scholarship programs have helped open the doors to anyone who has a need,” he noted, “wrapping services and resources around families.”

With pandemic challenges, Hall said the state has “doubled down,” working with school leaders to ensure the state doesn’t “fall backwards”…

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