From the editors of the Gainesville Sun:
Lawmakers still haven’t addressed the fact that voucher recipients aren’t required to take the same standardized tests as public-school students. Private schools that receive vouchers are also exempt from state standards such as requiring that teachers have bachelor’s degrees.
About 80 percent of vouchers go to religious schools that, as Politico.com recently reported, sometimes shorting children on science education.
(Step Up for Students CEO Doug) Tuthill told Politico that states have no right to determine what kids learn beyond basic math, reading and writing skills.
“Once a child has strong literacy skills, they can educate themselves,” he said. “We don’t have to rely on schools, necessarily.”
As a greater share of state revenue is diverted to private schools, it’s incumbent upon lawmakers to be honest about the voucher program and fair in their treatment of public and private schools. Otherwise, the whole thing looks like one big bait and switch.
It’s really hard to fathom sometimes that Tuthill was once a teacher. I’m sure we will soon hear that both the Politico and the Sun took his words out of context or they were misinterpreted somehow. This outrageous statement is a real eye-roller in Tallahassee. Especially when it comes from the CEO of an organization tasked with overseeing almost $1 billion in taxpayer money.
The Sun’s focus on lawmakers – mostly House republicans – is poignant. They are the one’s attempting to railroad a flawed mega bill and program that a shaky organization will control.