The Dangers to Public Education in Florida, Our Upcoming Conference and More.

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This week the Florida legislature added yet another voucher program, bringing the total number of programs to five. Florida spends more than one billion dollars on vouchers already. 

As Valerie Strauss wrote in the Washington Post:

An effort has been made in the legislature to require school districts to share with charter schools money that voters chose in a referendum to go to school districts, but it is unclear how that will end. And this week, the state legislature voted to allow teachers to carry guns at school despite opposition from many school districts.

The deliberate and systematic destruction of public education in Florida began a long time ago. With large numbers of students enrolled in an unstable charter sector combined with growing voucher programs, Florida is poised to be the first state in which public education collapses. 

How did the unrelenting attack on public education come to pass? It began in 1998 with former governor Jeb Bush’s introduction of the A+ Plan for reforming education. A new report, Twenty Years Later: The Jeb Bush A+ Plan Fails Florida’s Students by NPE Action Board member Sue Legg, Ph.D. traces the history of the Jeb Bush A+ reform movement, and documents why a test driven curriculum, supported by school grades and school choice, has failed to raise student achievement while undermining public education at every turn.

The report will serve as a valuable resource not only for the Florida public, but as a cautionary tale for all who believe in democratically governed, public schools. 

You can read the full report by clicking here.  

Our NPE report on the waste, fraud, and lack of vigilance in the U.S. DOE federal charter schools (CSP) program had a big impact. It has been discussed and cited by news outlets across the country and has captured the attention of several members of Congress.

We are following up by researching CSP grants in every state and compiling lists of recipient schools that never opened or shut down. We are also doing short reports about how states spend CSP grants. Here is the first report on Florida CSP grants, a state where the for-profit CMO sector drives the charter industry. Please read and share.

This week begins Teacher Appreciation Week. Don’t miss the outstanding video by Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul for their song Solidarity. The video, featuring our own Diane Ravitch, is about teachers worldwide who are standing up for their profession and for their students. Little Steven and Diane met at the Los Angeles teachers strike where they became fast friends. To watch the video just click the image below.

Don’t forget to acknowledge the teachers you admire by making a donation to NPE Action in their name. Learn more about that here.

Exciting news! Save the date for our NPE Action conference next spring in the City of Brotherly Love. We already have an exciting line-up of keynote speakers. More to come soon!

And don’t forget our Presidential Report Card. Learn where the candidates stand on the privatization of public schools.

Please don’t forget to make a donation​. We cannot do this work without your help.