Public Schools in Florida Closing Down Due to Rise of School Choice

In the state of Florida, many public schools are beginning to shut down as various school choice initiatives have led to a surge in enrollments for private and charter schools.

As reported by the Daily Caller, one example is Duval County Public School District, the sixth-largest school district in the state and the 20th-largest in the nation, which is now considering closing down several campuses in order to offset the decline in enrollment.

The second-largest public school in the state, Broward County Public Schools, has begun drafting plans to shut down as many as 42 individual campuses within the next few years. Other counties experiencing decreases in enrollment include Miami-Dade County.

According to the Florida Department of Education, between the years 2019 and 2023, roughly one-third of the 68,000 students enrolled in private schools were from the counties of Duval, Broward, and Miami. In 2023 alone, private school enrollment for the grades of pre-kindergarten up through 12th grade rose by 29,000 students compared to 2022. In 2023, 31 districts saw at least 10% of their students enrolled in private schools.

These trends are largely in response to a law signed by Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) in March of 2023, which promoted school choice by eliminating restrictions that were based on financial eligibility, while also eliminating caps on school enrollment.

“If your product is better, you’ll be fine. The problem is, they are a relic of the past — a monopolized system where you have one option,” said Chris Moya, a Florida lobbyist who represents charter schools. “And when parents have options, they vote with their feet.”

Florida has become one of the epicenters of the battle over education policy and school quality, ranging from such issues as school choice to restrictions on left-wing subject matter being taught in public schools. In 2022, conservative candidates won control of five major school boards throughout th estate: Miami-Dade County, Duval County, Sarasota County, Martin County, and Clay County.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - 2023/05/01: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference at the American Police Hall of Fame & Museum in Titusville. DeSantis used the event to sign bills into law that increase penalties for offenses involving sexual battery on children and drug trafficking targeting children, and a third bill involving pretrial release and detention. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Notable Replies

  1. This is the template for breaking the back of the education/indoctrination complex in this country which is of paramount importance if this Republic is to survive.

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