by David Safier
· Past experience shows that more K-12 spending does not significantly improve educational performance.
· Federal early childhood education programs have not provided lasting benefits to disadvantaged children. [The links are Lips', to two Heritage Institute studies]
. . . funding would be tied to performance—rewarding successful schools with additional funding and autonomy. . . . the state would provide additional funding for struggling schools while allowing parents the option of transferring their child to a better school.
Florida implemented reforms to provide bonuses to highly effective teachers. In 2007, Florida’s performance pay system offered a total of $147 million annually in state aid to school districts to pay performance bonuses to teachers.
In 2002, Florida voters approved a ballot initiative requiring that state-funded prekindergarten (pre-K) be offered to all four-year-olds in the state by 2005. In 2005, the program was launched with more than 100,000 children participating. The program is universal and voluntary.
. . . To be eligible, providers must meet certain state requirements, which include hiring licensed teachers (teachers must earn a Child Development Associate certificate) and implementing content standards that focus on literacy readiness. In 2008, 121,000 children are enrolled in the program. In 2007, approximately 55 percent of all four-year-olds participated.
Since 2004, government spending on Florida’s public schools has increased, likely at a faster rate than in the previous six years. For example, the initiative to reduce class size was projected to cost between $22 billion and $26.5 billion, with costs increasing as full implementation occurs in 2010-2011.