When it comes to school choice, Florida (state motto: "We'll abolish public education any day now") is the place to be. With an array of anti-public education public officials, a non-functioning Democratic party, and the a long history of legislative baloney, it's no wonder that this is Betsy DeVos's idea of how a state is supposed to get things done.
But even for Florida, the anti-bullying Hope Scholarship is an impressive feat. Max Eden at the Manhattan Institute (a generally reform-friendly thinky tank) has just written up a report on how the Hope Scholarship is going. The answer is, "Meh, not so great yet."
|Such a pretty, lousy place|
First, you have to appreciate how the Hope Scholarship works, because it is the most clever school choice dodge I've seen. A student alleges bullying, abuse or violence. The principal investigates and provides a written report. The parents then have a range of options, including moving their child to another school in the district, a public school out of the district, a charter school, or get Hope Scholarship funds to attend a private school. Eagle-eyed readers might think I just skipped a step, but I didn't. Let Eden explain:Notably, the parent need not be dissatisfied with the remedy proposed by the school district for the incident to qualify. Indeed, the school district need not even conclude that the alleged incident occurred. An allegation is sufficient to render a student eligible for a Hope Scholarship.
According to Mattox, Representative Donalds had hoped to leave his mark in the legislature by pioneering a new school choice program. Together, Donalds, Corcoran, and their staffs outlined a proposal and announced it at a press conference on October 11, 2017.