Patricia Levesque on Public School Choice Bill Passing Senate Committee

Patricia Levesque on Public School Choice Bill Passing Senate Committee

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Patricia Levesque on Public School Choice Bill Passing Senate Committee

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Today, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education passed a bill that would allow universal public school choice for Florida families. Senate Bill 886, sponsored by Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, will empower parents with the ability to choose the best educational path for their child by allowing them to choose any public school in the state, as long as it has space available.

Patricia Levesque, executive director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future (@aFloridaPromise), made the following statement on the bill’s passage:

“Imagine a parent discovering the perfect school for her child, a public school with just the right magnet program or the right services for a child’s unique abilities. There is space available but she is locked out because she lives on the wrong side of a district boundary line. This has to stop.

“It is time to allow children to cross invisible lines that serve as hardened barriers to opportunity and success. This legislation would allow them to do that.

“Thanks to years of education reform, the needs of individual students are better understood and the options for meeting those needs have never been greater. Our public schools now possess unique programs and missions that are right for some students but seldom if ever right for all students.

“I congratulate Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto for sponsoring this legislation, and for championing the rights of parents and the success of children.”

SB 886 will also give parents the ability to request a classroom change when it is not a good fit, and increase transparency by requiring districts to inform parents annually about the amount of total funding spent on their child. For more information on student-centered policies, visit www.afloridapromise.org.

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