If you are moving to Florida with your children, you may be interested in learning a little about the education system here. Selecting a school for your child is usually a personal choice and is related to your family’s beliefs and values. If a school is private, public, or charter, what is most important is that it is suitable for your child. And, depending on your family, your child and your district, perhaps you should do more research in the neighborhood you want to live in.
Florida has a school rating system that is pioneering in the United States and has been in use since 1999. The purpose of this system is to verify the level of student learning at each school and what they need to do to be successful at school. To facilitate the understanding of the effectiveness of each school, they are given a letter grade (A-F). From this assessment, good schools are rewarded and not so good ones receive support to improve. In this way, schools are encouraged to focus on the student. (http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org/)
Below are the most common types of education in the Florida education system:
Public schools obtain their funding from local, state and federal government. By law, these schools must accept all children residing in their district. Public schools have to follow state guidelines on what they can teach and how children are evaluated and are subject to verification by school councils or government officials. In theory, this creates a quality control over academic subjects, such as reading and math. Many parents prefer public schools because they offer a more diverse cultural experience. In addition, education is free.
Generally speaking, charter schools are privately run, but publicly funded. They may be founded by teachers, parents, non-profit organizations, universities or government entities, but they are free from some of the regulations that are imposed on public schools. However, they are responsible for fulfilling the promises made in their own statute, where they specify the areas of concentration of education. Some charters focus on engineering and mathematics, others focus on the arts and environmental sciences. They must demonstrate performance not only in the areas of academic achievement, but also in their finances and organizational stability. If a charter school does not meet performance targets, it can be closed. Charter schools are also free.
Private schools depend on their own funding, enabling education outside the standard state and federal curriculum. However, these schools are not required to accept all child applicants and often require the selection process to involve multiple interviews and tests.
Seminole County schools are among the highest performing schools in the state of Florida. Orange County is home to the largest school district.