(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Our movement is incredibly blessed to have leaders like John Kirtley. Watch the whole video and watch how to dismantle the case of deeply misguided opponents in a systematic and factual way. Lots of great stuff in this speech, this is my personal favorite:
“Now with that level of diversity, is a one-size-fits-all, top-down system where we assign kids by their zip code-is that going to produce excellence for every single child? I’m not sure that it is. But fortunately Florida is a leader, probably the leader in the country, in moving toward what I would call a new definition of public education. And that is this: raising taxpayer dollars to educate children, and then letting parents direct those dollars to different providers, and even to different delivery methods, that best suit their individual children’s learning needs. We are very fortunate that we have districts-school districts in our state-that are moving towards this new definition.”
“Is uniformity really the principle around which we want to organize public education in this new century? Have the plaintiffs targeted virtual learning, or dual enrollment? Charters or magnets, which are not uniform? No they have not. No they have only targeted the program that only serves low-income children who were doing very poorly in their assigned schools. Should they succeed, 80,000 children will be evicted from schools that are working for them, but they’re not the only ones that will suffer, district schools and taxpayers will suffer. 80,000 children will return to public schools in a day-there is no other way for them to pay for the tuition. We have 20,000 kids in Dade County- they’re concentrated, they’re not spread out. In two zip codes in Orange County, in Orlando, two contiguous zip codes, we have 2,000 kids that will show up one day- that’s four or five elementary schools.
I read the paper last week and the Superintendent of Oscela County Public Schools was lamenting the fact that they have to create 5,000 new spaces over the next five years, and how difficult that is going to be. In fact the quote was from the article ‘The County hopes that new charter schools will enroll some of the students and ease the strain on the traditional schools.’
Ladies and gentlemen we have 3,000 students in this scholarship students in Oscela County. If the Superintendent is concerned about absorbing 5,000 over the next five years, how will they absorb 3,000 in one day?”