Many years ago, I was accosted on the street by a group of striking teachers, demanding more pay. Why, I asked them, should you be entitled to more of my taxes when school grades are consistently falling? In what other industry, outside of politics, after all, would the workforce be taken seriously, demanding more pay to fail at their job?

Needless to say, the challenge did not go over well.

Australians are voting with their feet. Despite the government ploughing ever more money into an ever-worse public school system, which means taking more of Australians’ hard-earned in taxes, more Australians are choosing to voluntarily pay even more of their own money to send their children to private schools.

Given the choice, too, Americans are doing the same. Especially in Florida, where Ron DeSantis has aggressively championed school choice. So many Floridian families are choosing to send their kids to private or charter schools, or homeschool, that many public schools face being shut down entirely.

Education officials in some of the state’s largest counties are looking to scale back costs by repurposing or outright closing campuses — including in Broward, Duval and Miami-Dade counties. Even as some communities rally to try to save their local public schools, traditional public schools are left with empty seats and budget crunches.

Since 2019-20, when the pandemic upended education, some 53,000 students have left traditional public schools in these counties, a sizable total that is forcing school leaders to consider closing campuses that have been entrenched in local communities for years.

Broward County, Florida’s second-largest school district, is looking at closing over 40 schools in the next few years. The effect is certain to ripple across other counties.

These enrollment swings are pressing Broward leaders to combine and condense dozens of schools, efforts that would save the district on major operating costs. So far, some of the ideas are meeting heavy resistance.

Mostly because parents at successful schools aren’t too keen on what amounts to a takeover by the public school bureaucracy responsible for so much failure.

“You are trying to create school communities that attract families,” Erin Gohl, the PTA president at VSY, said during the May 6 town hall. “Look at what you have before you — replicate, don’t dismantle and destroy this incredible school community” […]

“If your product is better, you’ll be fine. The problem is, they are a relic of the past — a monopolized system where you have one option,” Chris Moya, a Florida lobbyist representing charter schools and the state’s top voucher administering organization, said of traditional public schools. “And when parents have options, they vote with their feet.”

The growth in charter school and private school enrolments is being near-matched by an astonishing growth in home-schooling.

A growing number of families also chose to homeschool their children during this span, as this population grew by nearly 50,000 students between 2019-20 and 2022-23, totaling 154,000 students in the latest Florida Department of Education data.


But without the “benefit” of public schooling, how will the children survive missing the opportunity to become gay communists? Who will teach them how to “transition”?

However, will they get by without public schooling?

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In the last decade...