Failed Leadership Behind Florida’s Education Fiascoes


Contact: Media at People For the American Way

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Report Highlights Disservice to Students, Parents and Taxpayers

A comprehensive report released today by People For the American Way explores mismanagement and failed policies in Florida’s education system under Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner Jim Horne.

The report, “Dereliction of Duty: Florida’s Failed Education Policy,” is an accounting and analysis of how Florida’s policies on vouchers, tuition tax credits, homeschooling, high stakes testing, class size reduction and even the management of the state’s pension fund have done a disservice to students, parents and taxpayers.

Download and read Dereliction of Duty now.

“This report will help People For the American Way’s more than 45,000 Florida members and supporters shed light on the failings of the state’s education policies,” said Ralph G. Neas, president of People For the American Way. “Instead of providing a strong public education for every child, Governor Bush’s administration has zealously pursued risky experiments and played political games when they should have been developing meaningful policies.”

The report documents:

  • The atrocious oversight and mismanagement of Florida’s voucher and tuition tax credit programs that has prompted state officials to conduct five separate investigations.
  • Florida’s diversion of more than $8 million in public taxpayer money to support students who are being homeschooled, even though state law forbids the use of state funds for home schools.
  • The enormous disparity between the inflexible expectations forced on public schools, and the complete lack of meaningful accountability for private schools accepting public dollars.
  • Governor Jeb Bush’s campaign to repeal the voter approved amendment to reduce class size, while ignoring special interest exemptions and corporate tax breaks that cost the state billions each year.
  • The Florida Board of Administration’s decision to invest the state’s employee pension fund, which includes the earnings of education employees, in a company that is not only financially unstable and unprofitable, but that also threatens public education by attempting to privatize it.Dereliction of Duty is one of a series of reports on vouchers, tuition tax credits, the voucher movement and other important issues in education.