Florida Lawmakers Are Trying to Use Bullying as an Excuse to Attack Public Education

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A bill that is currently being considered by the Republican-controlled Florida legislature would allow children who have been bullied to transfer to a private school with a state-funded voucher. The program would be the first of its kind, NBC reported on Monday.

In other words, instead of addressing the root causes of bullying by investing in intervention programs or holding schools responsible, lawmakers are considering further subsidizing private schools at the expense of public ones. Yet—obviously!—there is no reason to believe that students going to private schools would be free of bullying. The National Center of Education Statistics even found that “no measurable differences” were observed between the percentage of students who reported being bullied in private versus public schools.


Florida—which Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has held up as a model—already has one of the nation’s largest voucher programs, according to NBC. The proposal would be funded through car owners volunteering to siphon off a portion of their registration fees to pay for the program. (Supporters think at least 80% of all car owners in the state would agree to do this.) If it passes, the bill would no doubt be looked upon kindly by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who is on her own mission to starve public schools.