Putting Education Reform To The Test

Scott Wants to Cap Florida School District Administrative Expenses

Rick Dole / Getty News Images

A handful of education items are on Gov. Rick Scott's early legislative priorities.

Gov. Rick Scott wants to cap school district administrative expenses, according to a draft legislative priorities list obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.

Scott also wants to grant parents the ability to use state dollars to pay for private school tuition, books or other education expenses, according to the Sentinel story. Scott would rely on allies at former Gov. Jeb Bush‘s Foundation for Florida’s Future:

Education also makes Scott’s top tier of proposals.

But his advocacy of Texas-style higher education reforms that eliminate tenure for professors has already drawn criticism from university presidents and the state Board of Governors. Haridopolos said, “We’ll give it the full venue it deserves.”

Scott is also looking for legislation that would require school districts to spend a specific percentage of school funds in the classroom as opposed to on administrative expenses, a measure that’s died in previous sessions.

One of his secondary priorities is an “education savings account,” as proposed by former Gov. Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Florida’s Future, that would allow parents to use state dollars to send their children to private school or pay for expenses such as textbooks or tutoring. Scott’s spreadsheet says that the foundation will “take lead” on it.

“We have parental choice for students with disabilities. We have parental choice for students who are low income,” said Bush spokeswoman Jaryn Emhof, noting this would give parents of students who don’t fit into those categories more control over their children’s education.



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