Florida loves charter schools. It is not surprising since the charter industry has friends at the top of every key committee in the legislature. In Florida, charters open and close like the flow of waves on the lovely beaches that surround the state. Some make a huge profit, others disappear. There are now almost 600 charters in the state, so what’s another one, two, ten, or fifty? Many of the charters operate for profit, and make millions. Florida would love vouchers, if the legislature had its way, but the courts struck down a general voucher law as unconstitutional, so the only voucher schools are for students with disabilities (the McKay Scholarship program). There is little supervision of these schools, little regulation, and they have become big business in choice-loving Florida. Actually, Florida voters turned down an effort by the Jeb Bush team to change the Constitution in 2012 to permit vouchers. So, paradoxes abound. The voters don’t like vouchers, but the legislature does.

The voucher industry continues to grow and thrive because the legislature doesn’t like regulation. That has allowed fly-by-night “schools” to prosper, so long as their services are targeted to students with disabilities.

The schools spawned by the McKay Scholarships were the subject of a journalistic expose in 2011, which said the program had created a cottage industry of fraud and chaos (the author Gus Garcia-Roberts won a prestigious journalistic award for this series), but the legislative supporters of the program were undaunted.

And so, here comes another! The sponsors of a voucher school in Milwaukee that closed down decided to move to Florida. And why not?

According to the story in the “Daytona Beach News-Journal”:

DAYTONA BEACH — A couple who suddenly shut down their Milwaukee private school last month after collecting $2.3 million in state vouchers over six years is trying to get a similar program off the ground here.

Taron and Rodney Monroe opened Lifeskills Academy II in August in a former Indigo Drive conference center that now houses three churches.

Seven children in prekindergarten through fourth grade are enrolled. They include the Monroes’ son and three students who qualify for taxpayer-funded vouchers under Florida’s McKay and corporate tax credit scholarship programs that pay for disabled and low-income children, respectively, to attend private schools. Lifeskills Academy II collected $5,147 in the first half of this school year from those programs.

“It’s a basic Christian school,” Rodney Monroe said. “We’re just a real small school. … We’re just trying to help children.”

This is the Florida model: A path to a world-class education? Not likely.