Online education

For school choice supporters, this year’s expansion lacked something

government Ron DeSantis While the law was signed into law in March providing what proponents heralded as the largest expansion of school choice ever in the United States, some students are missing out on a chance under the new law.

invoice (HB1) was a top priority during this legislative session. He passed the House on March 17, just 10 days into the session.DeSantis signed March 27th, just 20 days after the session started.

This law creates what is known as universal school choice, meaning that private school vouchers from the state are available to everyone, regardless of income.

Florida isn’t the only state pushing these policies, it’s becoming a conservative that Democrats increasingly hate.Governor of Arkansas Sarah Huckabee SandersFor example, the same month DeSantis signed the School Choice Act, he signed a law to wipe out education savings accounts. Last week, South Carolina legislators sent a school choice bill to the governor. Henry McMaster.

Some of these bills contain provisions that don’t exist in Florida’s. It is the ability of students to attend religious virtual schools using scholarships. Under the new law, students can use the voucher to attend a religious or virtual school, but they cannot use it to attend a religious school held virtually.

The issue was not raised in the debate before the bill was passed. Perhaps it was because the Republicans controlling Congress were celebrating a big victory in school selection in the first place.

But the Heritage Foundation Jason Bedrick noted, Writing in The Daily Signal “Possibly inadvertently”, referring to “existing laws requiring that ‘approved providers’ of virtual education ‘must be non-denominational in their programs, admission policies, employment practices, and operations'” bottom.

“In other words, ESA families can choose religious or secular private schools, tutors, and other education providers, but are prohibited from choosing providers for religiously-related virtual learning,” Bedrick said. added Mr.

He postulates that it unnecessarily restricts parental choice, speculating that it “violates the Free Movement Clause of the First Amendment.” Some private schools cannot be disqualified just because they are religious. ”

For those who oppose universal school choice – Democrats usually argue that it takes money away from traditional public schools, and in this case the move is akin to writing a check to a millionaire. He said that

But for those who advocate school choice, it’s a no-brainer.

Thousands of students across the state are enrolled in various virtual schools. This is a practice that became necessary in some households during the pandemic and has since become a more popular choice for some students.

“While the pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the growth of online education, the reality is that there are far too many opportunities for students to learn through virtual learning opportunities.” Ed MansouriOne of the original architects of the Florida Virtual School platform.

“Families use it for all sorts of different reasons, and it’s important to have as many opportunities available as possible, along with funds to support it.”

It is too late to rectify what is seen as a loophole in this legislative session, but MPs appear to be fine with public religious education and should propose an amendment during the next legislative session. seems more likely to accept

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