Kristina Rizga, the veteran education journalist at Mother Jones, explains why Trump and DeVos love Florida. Although the state has a constitutional ban on the use of public money for private and religious schools, although the state’s voters rejected Jeb Bush’s effort to change the state constitution in 2012, Florida has figured out numerous DeVious ways to circumvent the state constitution and the will of the voters.

Jeb Bush is the permanent state minister of education in Florida, and he loves school choice. He does not like public schools. The state has hundreds of charter schools, many of which are managed by for-profit entrepreneurs. The head of the education appropriations committee in the state senate is a member of a family that owns the state’s largest for-profit charter chain. But better yet, for the purposes of DeVos, who is a religious zealot, Florida has a tax-credit plan that funnels hundreds of millions of dollars to unregulated and unaccountable religious schools.

Rizga writes:

Tax credit scholarships provide a crafty mechanism to get around these obstacles. Tax credits are given to individuals and corporations that donate money to scholarship-granting institutions; if parents end up using those scholarships to send their kids to religious schools—and 79 percent of students in private schools are taught by institutions affiliated with churches—the government technically is not transferring taxpayer money directly to religious organizations.

While DeVos is best known as an advocate of vouchers, most veteran Beltway insiders told me that a federal voucher program is very unlikely. “Democrats don’t like vouchers. Republicans don’t like federal programs, and would rather leave major school reform decisions up to states and local communities,” Rick Hess, a veteran education policy expert with the conservative American Enterprise Institute said. “Realistically, nobody thinks they’ve got the votes to do a federal school choice law, especially in the Senate.”

This political reality is perhaps why Trump and DeVos are singling out Florida’s tax credit programs as a way to expand private schooling options. While Trump and DeVos have not specified what shape this policy might take at the federal level, most of these changes will come from the state legislators. Republicans have full control of the executive and legislative branches in 25 states, and control the governor’s house or the state legislature in 44 states. At least 14 states have already proposed bills in this legislative session that would expand some form of vouchers or tax credit scholarships, according to a Center for American Progress analysis. (And 17 states already provide some form of tax credit scholarships, according to EdChoice.)

This perfect storm for pushing through various voucher schemes comes at a time when the results on the outcomes of these programs “are the worst in the history of the field,” according to New America researcher Kevin Carey, who analyzed the results in a recent New York Times article. Until about two years ago, most studies on vouchers produced mixed results, with some showing slight increases in test scores or graduation rates for students using them. But the most recent research has not been good, according to Carey: A 2016 study, funded by the pro-voucher Walton Family Foundation and conducted by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute, found that students who used vouchers in a large Ohio program “have fared worse academically compared to their closely matched peers attending public schools.”

Businesses make gifts to Step Up for Students. They get a tax credit. Step Up for Students gets a hefty cut of the take. It currently has about $500 million to use to fund vouchers for private and religious schools that the state does not regulate or supervise. The voucher-receiving schools report attendance, but are not subject to the state standards, curriculum, or tests, and they do not report on academic performance.