TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd), founded by Governor Jeb Bush, released the following statement on the Florida Education Association’s (FEA) decision to take legal action against policies offering a customized education to Florida students:
“This is a new low for the FEA. It is shameful that they would spend teachers’ hard-earned dollars to block opportunities for our most vulnerable students.
“As a society, we must work to unlock education opportunities for students who need them the most. Senate Bill 850 will help children with Down’s syndrome, autism and other developmental disabilities have greater choices and the critical support necessary for successful education outcomes.
“There are those who believe families should have options and trust parents in those decisions for their kids. And sadly there are those who find educational choices threatening to their political power.
“The FEA’s actions send a message that it is OK to overlook some students. This is wrong. The parents and students waiting in line for these options deserve better.”
- Since 1999 under Governor Jeb Bush’s leadership, Florida has become an established leader in expanding educational choice for families. Today, close to 700,000 students are enrolled in Florida’s school choice programs.
- Senate Bill 850 recognizes that students with unique abilities benefit from educational choices beyond those traditionally offered.
- It establishes Florida Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts which allow parents to pick the best place to educate their child and the combination of therapies or services that best meets their children’s unique needs.
- The bill will also ensure Florida is giving more students a quality, customized education by increasing access to scholarships for low-income families.
- Tens of thousands of low-income students sit on waiting lists for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program, hoping to attend private schools chosen by their families.