For more information contact: Ted Modrich 651-296-5809
(ST. PAUL) -- Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush spoke today at the invitation of Republican leadership in the Minnesota legislature. DFL education leads Rep. Mindy Greiling (DFL-Roseville) and Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFL-St. Paul) responded to the former Governor’s visit.
“I am perplexed why Republicans in Minnesota are looking to Florida's education reforms for inspiration," said Rep. Greiling. “They are not silver bullets for our education system - or even theirs if you really examine the full results and not just 4th grade reading scores.
“The push for school vouchers is misguided at best. Sending public dollars to private schools does not improve student achievement. Florida can not prove it works and Milwaukee data shows voucher students perform worse than their public school peers.
“While Governor Bush opposed reducing class sizes, Florida voters did. That comes from increased education funding and putting more funds into classrooms, which I support. We need real reform, not Florida’s failures.
“Minnesota students are better prepared for college and careers than Florida students. Our average ACT composite was 22.9, the highest in the nation whereas Florida’s was 19.5, third lowest in the nation. So why is the Minnesota GOP working to turn our great schools into Florida’s failing schools?”
“The former governor’s visit really does beg the question: why does the Minnesota GOP want to turn our great public schools into a failing system like the one in Florida,” Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFL – St. Paul), the DFL lead on the Education Reform Committee said. “By every measurable outcome and standard of student achievement, Florida’s schools are failing. Even with our problems, Minnesota’s schools far outshine Florida’s.
“The proposals being offered by the Republican majority only aim to serve their ideological goals, rather than work on solutions the public wants that will drive better outcomes and close the achievement gap. These solutions will require investment, smaller class sizes, literacy initiatives and a strong commitment to our public schools.”