Marshall Center for Educational Options2018-05-07T14:11:35-04:00

Marshall Center for Educational Options

The J. Stanley Marshall Center for Educational Options seeks to advance policy reforms that empower Florida parents to choose the schools, courses, resources and programs that best meet their child’s unique needs, interests, aptitudes and learning styles. Through policy research, public and media outreach, public testimony and events, the Marshall Center works vigorously to expand learning options for all Florida students.

When Dr. J. Stanley Marshall founded The James Madison Institute (JMI) in 1987, he made certain that education reform became one of JMI’s signature issues. Dr. Marshall’s special interest in education policy grew out of his experience as a former high school science teacher, a former Florida State University president, and a member of numerous education boards. Read more about Dr. Marshall’s life and legacy from his son David Marshall’s tribute here.

As a result of Dr. Marshall’s efforts, JMI is widely credited with helping to usher in the first wave of charter schools in our state during the 1990s. Today, there are more than 600 charter schools in Florida serving more than 250,000 students; and Florida’s example has helped spur more than 40 states to adopt similar charter school policies (which now serve more than 2.3 million students nationwide).

Dr. Marshall’s pioneering work advocating for school choice laid the policy groundwork for many of the sweeping reforms that Governor Jeb Bush signed into law during his time in office. Most notable among these reforms is Florida’s highly-acclaimed Tax Credit Scholarship program, which now serves nearly 100,000 low-income students from around the state. This program is the largest of its kind in the nation (by far), and has served as a model for other states.

Like Dr. Marshall, JMI’s Center for Educational Options has a special concern for disadvantaged students who have often been denied quality schooling. To this end, we work to defend, expand and raise public awareness about a number of well-established school choice programs. The Marshall Center has been a strong proponent of Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts (PLSAs), which allow parents to control the per-pupil dollars designated for their child’s education and incentivize them to seek the best “bang-for-their-buck” in education spending. Most recently in Florida, this includes a highly-innovative new program for special-needs students called the Gardiner Scholarship program. This enables parents to “customize” their child’s education and draw upon educational resources (such as tutors, online courses, testing and curriculum) that may not be available at their local district school.

Over the next decade, JMI’s Marshall Center for Educational Options hopes to expand these Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts to all K-12 students so that every Florida child has access to the schools, courses and educational programs that best meet their unique needs, interests, abilities and learning styles. Indeed, we believe there could be no greater tribute to Dr. Marshall than to help the state of Florida establish universal education choice for all Sunshine State students.

Recent News

STATEMENT RELEASE: New JMI Report Calls for Survey to Measure Free Speech Among Florida Universities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 16, 2020 CONTACT: Logan Elizabeth Padgett 850-386-3131 NEW JMI REPORT CALLS FOR SURVEY TO MEASURE FREE SPEECH AMONG FLORIDA UNIVERSITIES TALLAHASSEE –A new report by The James Madison Institute’s Stan Marshall Center entitled, “Combatting ‘Idea Suppression:’ How Florida Universities Can Continue their Rise to National Prominence,” [...]

By |December 16th, 2020|Categories: Statements|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on STATEMENT RELEASE: New JMI Report Calls for Survey to Measure Free Speech Among Florida Universities

2021 Policy Priorities

Click here to read the 2021 Policy Priorities PDF.  2021 JMI Policy Priorities Back on Track It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to suggest that “nobody saw 2020 coming.” In a year in which the impeachment of the President of the United States (in an election year) was not even in [...]

FSU spurring Florida’s rise to prominence on campus free speech | Opinion

William Mattox 11/9/2020 John Thrasher’s tenure as president of Florida State University someday will be remembered as a time when FSU made a dramatic leap in the U.S. News national rankings, rising to become a Top 20 public university. But it should also be hailed for a less-recognized accomplishment – FSU’s [...]

By |November 9th, 2020|Categories: Press|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on FSU spurring Florida’s rise to prominence on campus free speech | Opinion
Go to Top