LET’S HOPE “FIRST IN THE SOUTH” POLITICIANS ARE PAYING ATTENTION …
|| By FITSNEWS || This website has been pretty tough on former Florida governor Jeb Bush – the establishment “Republican” frontrunner for president of the United States in 2016.
One area where we’ve shown Bush some love, though?
Free market education reform … (a.k.a. universal school choice).
“He has many faults, but there can be no denying Bush is a school choice champion – a visionary politician who recognized the essential nature of free market reform in improving academic outcomes (and individual lives),” we wrote earlier this year during one of Bush’s visits to the Palmetto State.
This week, Bush is ramping up his profile on the issue. In a column posted on Townhall, Bush described himself as “a decades-long advocate for school choice.”
“During my time as Governor, we made expanding parental choice a key part of our overhaul of Florida’s education system,” Bush wrote. “The results speak for themselves: Today, more than 300,000 kids in Florida are in school choice programs. Florida leads the nation in reading for low-income and minority fourth graders. Graduation rates have increased by almost 50 percent in the state. The number of ‘D’ and ‘F’ schools in Florida decreased from 28 percent to 5 percent, and the number of ‘A’ and ‘B’ schools in Florida increased from 21 percent to 74 percent. Finally, Florida is one of the only states in the nation to make real progress in closing the achievement gap.”
He’s right …
In fact this study comparing academic outcomes in Florida and South Carolina makes the difference between the two Southern states painfully clear. Despite this evidence, South Carolina leaders have refused to make parental choice a priority – choosing instead to throw more money at the state’s failed government-run system.
Who else supports this failed “government-first” philosophy? Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton – and the liberal bureaucratic unions backing “public education.”
“These are the same special interests backing Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency,” Bush wrote. “And, there is no evidence that Secretary Clinton would buck her friends on the critical issue of education reform if she were elected President.”
No evidence? More like “no way in hell” she would.
We rarely have good things to say about Bush, but on this issue he deserves tremendous credit – not only for consistently supporting the sort of reforms South Carolina should have adopted years ago, but for taking the fight to Clinton on this issue.
Good for him.
Let’s hope South Carolina lawmakers (of both parties) are paying attention …