Florida is considered the freest state on the education front, according to a new study.
The Heritage Foundation released a report card Tuesday that ranked Florida as the top state for education freedom.
“The renaissance of school choice is the silver lining of the Left’s disastrous mismanagement of American schools. The ‘Great Awokening’ and the theatrical school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic only compounded the existing dysfunction of the system,” Heritage Foundation President Dr. Kevin Roberts told Fox News Digital.
“With more states embracing education freedom, we are inching closer to a system where parents have the autonomy they deserve, breaking away from the monopoly enjoyed by the education establishment,” he added.
States were measured based on four categories: education choice, teacher freedom, transparency and return on investment.
“In this 2023 edition of the Education Freedom Report Card, Florida remains the top-ranked state across the board. Florida lawmakers have once again expanded education freedom and promoted parents’ rights while creating a laudable return on investment for taxpayers,” Heritage stated.
“Florida lawmakers set a high standard for academic transparency and rejected critical race theory’s pernicious ideas in 2022. State officials approved a proposal that prohibits students from being compelled to affirm the prejudiced ideas that critical race theory teaches,” the report noted.
The DeSantis administration has prioritized cutting wokeness out of state schools since it has been in power and, with the Republican legislature, enacted a Parents Bill of Rights to prohibit instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation and moved to enforce laws banning pornographic material from school children, such as LGBTQ books featuring graphic sexual content.
The DeSantis administration has also battled critical race theory in the classroom and recently got The College Board to modify its AP African American History course to comply with Florida’s educational standards by removing proposed content about queer theory and Black Lives Matter.
Heritage also recognized Iowa and Arkansas for making significant gains in education freedom this year. Gov. Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa, signed a major school choice bill into law earlier this year.
“This year, state lawmakers adopted education savings account-style options that are available to every child in the state, as well as a parent bill of rights. Both reforms empower parents to help their children succeed,” the Heritage report card stated of Iowa.
Arkansas Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee signed an education reform package in March that included school choice, boosting teacher pay and combating critical race theory in the classroom.
On the other hand, the new report card ranked states like Connecticut, Rhode Island and Oregon low for “doing little to provide transparency and choice for families.”
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