Tallahassee needs to focus on public schools, not charters and vouchers.
Our public education system is designed to benefit us all whether we have a child attending a school or not. This means when we start to weaken it by diverting funds to mostly for profit charter schools which have been marred by closure and scandal after closure and scandal and to vouchers which funnel money into barely regulated schools lacking both financial and academic oversight we are all harmed.
Article nine, section one of the Florida Constitution says: The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education and for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of institutions of higher learning and other public education programs that the needs of the people may require.
The system has been set up so that we have no idea how students that attend schools with vouchers paid for with taxes diverted from the state coffers are doing. Also over 260 charter schools have opened taken public money and failed leaving families and communities in a lurch leaving behind mostly for profit charters behind. I am sure neither of which can be what the framers of our constitution envisioned when they wrote the article above. The three headed monster Tallahassee has created over the last few years is neither uniform, efficient and in the case of vouchers and charters high quality.
In the New Year, Tallahassee should scale back charters and vouchers and invest in our public schools and that’s not just my and millions of people’s opinion, it’s what the Florida constitution demands.