Deutch Applauds Secretary Duncan for Rebuke of Special Interest Influence Over Florida Education Policy
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) issued this statement in reaction to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's remarks on education to the Florida Council of 100, the group of business leaders charged with advising the Governor on policy:
“Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan delivered a clear and powerful message to Tallahassee: it is time to stop catering to special interests and start catering to the needs of Florida’s children. While well-intentioned, over the past decade No Child Left Behind’s Supplement Education Services (SES) program has been used to divert public dollars away from public schools and into private, for-profit vendors that lack accountability and fail to improve outcomes.
“This announcement should propel Governor Scott to immediately suspend Florida’s new SES statute, which was inserted into the budget on the final day of the legislative session and clearly violates our No Child Left Behind Wavier. This statute will deny our school districts the flexibility the Obama Administration intended to give them by awarding Florida this waiver. At a time when school districts throughout Florida are struggling with inadequate resources, top-down mandates, and high-stakes testing, we cannot afford to spend 15% of our state’s Title I funds on an ineffective, for-profit earmark for private vendors.
“That the Obama Administration is renouncing one of the most ineffective policies of No Child Left Behind and urging states to put public education ahead of private profits is wonderful news for parents, students, teachers, and public school districts across America.”