Hanna Criticizes School Voucher Programs

Hanna Criticizes School Voucher Programs

By The News Service of Florida

Since 2019, when Florida lawmakers created a voucher program called the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program, the “flow of public funds to private education” has dramatically increased, according to a new report by the nonprofit Florida Policy Institute and the Education Law Center. The report details an increase in money in the Florida Education Finance Program being “re-routed” from public school districts to voucher programs.

The Florida Education Finance Program, commonly known as the FEFP, is the main funding source for public schools. The funding shift went from $326 million in 2020 to an estimated $1.3 billion for the 2022-2023 school year, according to the report.

During a news conference Tuesday about the report, Leon County schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna decried the trend of expanding voucher programs.

“We (the school district) three years ago had around $4 million of money that came through the FEFP to Leon County that was being diverted to private institutions. That number grew from $4 million to $13 million, and this year $16 million. Over 2,000 (students) are receiving public … tax dollars to attend private mom-and-pop schools,” Hanna said.

Scott Kent, director of media and strategic communications for the organization Step Up for Students, disputed the report’s characterization that funds are being diverted to voucher programs. Step Up for Students is a nonprofit that helps administer voucher programs in Florida.

“The report grossly distorts how the state funds education choice scholarships. The school districts never receive the money so it can’t be redirected. It’s just an accounting entry used by the state. Scholarship students no more divert funds from districts than students who pay out of pocket for private schools do,” Kent said Tuesday in a statement to The News Service of Florida.

14 Responses to "Hanna Criticizes School Voucher Programs"

  1. I like the idea of school vouchers.
    My husband worked for the Miami-Dade school system but after 5 years of schooling in the system we pulled our son out and sent both our children to private schools. It was very difficult for us to afford but we don’t regret it for a bit! It was the right choice! Parents, even if school vouchers don’t become a reality, never think you don’t have choices.
    Administrators just want kids in seats because of the federal funds they get – they care about their wallets not your kids!

  2. Ok, so the LCS budget last year (before the 15% increase) was about $550 million, with total student enrollment of about 32,000, works out to over $17,000 per student. Rocky complains these 2000 private school students are costing him $16 million, or $8000 per student. Seems to me that LCS is coming out about $18 million ahead.

  3. Rocky, improve your product. No need for vouchers. Stick to the basics . NO social engineering. Welcome the parents – they pay your salary.

  4. When you let the Alphabet Mafia LBGTQ run the curriculum then you need to go. The Alphabet Mafia has nothing to do with Reading Writing and Arithmetic.

  5. I like the posters on this site. Come to the party a day late and the relevant points are usually covered!

    That said, my take is that Hanna’s gripe is about power. Public school teachers are generally union members with the FEA being the largest. Money that goes anywhere except to teacher salaries isn’t subject to union dues so with every dollar “spent” elsewhere means less going to the unions and their chief benefactor — the Democrat Party.

    There’s been plenty of money for union member teachers in recent years. Remember the class size amendment that required a lot of new teachers and infrastructure spending? That was pushed by the Democrats and the unions. It increased the flow of money to the Democrats without raising teacher salaries. A year later they get on the “teacher’s need more money” soapbox to ding the taxpayers again in a way that pushes even more money to the unions.

    But the big culprit in the lagging teacher salaries is the system itself. Non teaching expenditures continue to rise at 1.5 times the rate of enrollment increases. That’s a lot of money that doesn’t get kicked back to the Democrats.

    Nowhere is it written that every child must have a public education. That taxpayer dollars are going to non-public schools is irrelevant unless your goal is to maintain the power structure that the public dollars produce.

  6. Newsflash Superintendent Hanna, there is a reason parents are getting the vouchers. They don’t want their children to attend Leon County public schools. Might want to do an internal audit and fix the problem, it’s your job.

  7. The voting majority of Leon County feel Rocky is doing a great job. They love their kids being part of the gender disphoria normalization national movement. They are just fine with Junior taking drugs and normalization counseling without their knowledge to block his normal male development and trick their son’s body into the development of female traits. And wnen Junior brings his former man pride home from school in a jar of alcohol it will be too late to turn back.
    Some of our otherwise normal locals that went to school with Rocky dont feel it will really ever get that bad and will not like my comments. I understand your feelings and I’m sorry but not sorry. I hope you, at the very least, got your Junior in one of the local private schools.

  8. “… Over 2,000 (students) are receiving public … tax dollars to attend private mom-and-pop schools,” Hanna said.

    What an utterly arrogant and insulting comment to make. What the Stupidintendant doesn’t grasp is that the so called “mon and pop schools” produce better results that the Public Indoctrination System. Parents want their children learning how to read, write, and do arithmetic… not trained in the Marxicrat ideology of hate, activism, and morally bankruptcy.

    With the increase in the number of parents pulling their children out of this failed local system, it is time to demand a reduction in in the millage rate.

  9. Several things need to happen:
    Remove all things BLM, CRT & LGBTQ from Public Schools.

    Teachers and Staffs Private Lives need to stay PRIVATE.

    Go back to the 70’s and 80’s ways of Teaching, from Text Books and Chalk Boards. Use the Computers to only teach Coding.
    FIRE any Teacher or Staff that tells a Student to “Not to tell their Parents” about anything that happened at School.

    Shrink the Number of Kids in Class Rooms in Elementary Schools like we Voted to do.

    Don’t even THINK about Raising Property Taxes.

  10. I have a bulletin for you Rocky…It never was your money. It’s the tax payers money and they don’t want to spend it on a crappy product which you offer.

  11. This is what happens when tax payers get tired of politics being the sole priority of our public school systems. Maybe if Leon County Schools was more concerned with education instead of how to transition children without paternal notification, maybe people wouldn’t be taking their kids to private schools and needing their tax dollars to do so.

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