Apr. 19, 2022

Parental choice and education: The backbone of Florida's business success

A SPECIAL REPORT by Tripp Scott's Ed Pozzuoli as published in Florida Trend

When entrepreneurs, CEOs, and site selection consultants come to Florida scouting relocation destinations for corporate headquarters or regional offices, the common component they often seek is a diverse and educated workforce.

That starts with the K-12 student.

Florida ranks high in educating tomorrow’s workforce today by giving parents the confidence that their children will receive a world-class education.

So when some school districts opted for extended school closings amid the pandemic, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis insisted instead that Florida schools deliver on that promise. He sought to ensure that parents of all socioeconomic backgrounds had a voice in their children’s education.

The perils of extended school closings were felt in districts nationwide. “Unfinished learning” stemming from extended closures resulted in months of lost education and skills across reading, writing and arithmetic. This disproportionately fell upon low-income and students of color, noted a study from McKenzie. While students in majority-white schools lost on average three months in reading and four months in math, majority-Black schools ended the 2021 school year six months behind in both, researchers found.

Studies also found that school closings stripped away the benefits of parental involvement, which resulted in reduced class participation and achievement, especially among minority students. The detrimental impacts of school closings also increased emotional, behavioral and mental-health issues; acts of violence; even suicide attempts, according to reports. So devastating were the impacts that the surgeon general issued a health advisory on the matter.

Conversely, policies that encouraged schools to remain open or that gave parents greater school choice delivered broad returns. This was found both in public school districts and in Florida’s charter schools, which far outpaced district-run counterparts in keeping instruction going and minimizing educational gaps during the pandemic.

The results have been dramatic. Increased parental engagement can be correlated with improved student academic achievement; better behavioral outcomes, emotional functioning and self-control within the classroom; increased attendance; lower dropout rates; and higher college enrollment, the Urban League found.

What’s more, in Florida, similar rights were extended to businesses. Companies continue to be encouraged to remain open for business and not require masks. So successful were these practices and policies that Florida was among the first states to enjoy a robust economic recovery, which continues to this day.

Gov. DeSantis’ commitment to combating the pandemic’s ongoing ramifications continues. His “Freedom First Budget” presented to Florida legislators this year included record educational funding, raises and retention bonuses for teachers and principals and $421 million for school safety and mental health. The budget’s goal was to promote “freedom through high-quality education.”

Parents and business leaders alike know that a better-educated child today will become part of a stronger workforce tomorrow. That’s a future we can build on.



Tripp Scott's Paul Lopez Admitted to American College of Trial Lawyers

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., February 28, 2023 – Tripp Scott today announced that Paul Lopez has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America.

The induction ceremony at which Lopez became a Fellow took place recently before an audience of approximately 525 during the recent Spring Meeting of the College in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Thanks to DeSantis, Florida is no California wasteland of wokeness

As Published in the Miami Herald

An op-ed by Tripp Scott's Ed Pozzuoli

The Golden State continues to generate explosive costs of living, including gas prices over a dollar more than the national average and electricity costs 33% above the nation’s norms.

Pictured: A homeless man moves his belongings from a street near Los Angeles City Hall, background, as crews prepared to clean the area. RICHARD VOGEL AP Photo


Why Should My Company “Outsource” A General Counsel?

This month’s legal opinion is provided by Tripp Scott's Director Matthew Zifrony.

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