Heritage Foundation Ranks Florida No. 1 in Education Freedom

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PUNTA GORDA, Fla.–The Heritage Foundation released its first-ever Freedom Report Card on Sept. 9, ranking Florida as the No. 1 state for empowering parents in their children’s education and supporting education freedom.

Gov. Ron DeSantis was on hand at the Heritage Foundation’s conference in Orlando, where the announcement was made. DeSantis credits his administration’s policies and fighting to keep kids in the classroom during the pandemic for the state’s national recognition.

“When other states were locking people down and keeping their kids out of school, we made sure kids were in school because we put their well-being before politics,” DeSantis said. “While states like California, New York, and Illinois that denied in-person education to their children are now suffering from plummeting educational outcomes, Florida’s schoolchildren are thriving because we invest in our students, and we empower parents to decide what learning environment is best for their kids. Thank you to The Heritage Foundation for recognizing our success and ranking Florida No. 1 in the nation for education freedom.”

Florida was followed by Arizona and Idaho as the top states for educational freedom in the country. At the other end of the spectrum, New York, Washington, and New Jersey ranked in the bottom three and scored the lowest in transparency, high spending per pupil despite low student outcomes, less regulatory freedom, and few education choice opportunities.

Kevin Roberts, president of The Heritage Foundation praised Florida state lawmakers for “advancing priorities that offer parents more educational options and provide them with more autonomy and academic transparency.”

“As a fifth-generation educator, I know firsthand the importance of giving parents more choice in their children’s education, and how much of an advantage a quality education gives to those fortunate enough to receive it. Lawmakers in every state capital—and here in D.C.—should be focused on empowering families and making sure that every child in this country has access to the highest-quality education, one that works best for them,” said Roberts in a released statement. “Florida has led the way in expanding education choice, cutting red tape, and holding schools accountable to parents with academic transparency.”

By Jannis Falkenstern

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