What Florida is doing to its public schools

Horace Mann called public education the “great equalizer.” Quite simply, he believed that without a strong system of public schools in this country, the elite would get an education while the middle class and poor would not, says Jean Clements, president of Florida’s Hillsborough County Classroom Teachers Association, for the Washington Post. This week, a vote by the Florida State Board of Education makes it nearly impossible for public schools to be “great equalizers” in the Sunshine State. This vote, along with education legislation pending in the state capitol, together threaten the future of Florida’s public schools. The state’s actions are “almost cataclysmic,” said Okaloosa County Superintendent Alexis Tibbetts. Horace Mann must be rolling over in his grave. The proposed legislation, commonly called “the parent trigger bill,” is a vehicle that allows parents of students at low-performing schools (so graded by the state) to petition the state or school district to allow these schools to be taken over by private companies or charter school operators…

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