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School Choice Discussion Part of a Global Effort Celebrating Late Nobel Laureate
~ Milton Friedman’s contributions to the school choice movement honored at 2014 Friedman Legacy Day event which addressed advancements in educational options offered to Florida’s students ~TALLAHASSEE — Milton Friedman, recognized as one of the greatest economists of the last century, was the focal point at events nationwide and around the world on Thursday, July 31, including one in Florida’s capital city. The James Madison Institute (JMI) and Foundation for Florida’s Future participated in the 2014 Friedman Legacy Day to showcase the late economist’s influential ideas, including his contribution to the school choice movement.Florida continues to lead the nation in offering a wide variety of education choices for its K-12 students. Thanks in part to school choice, Florida has also risen in the national rankings of student achievement. Dozens of attendees gathered at The Columns, JMI’s headquarters, to join in a conversation on these points with JMI senior fellow Bob Sanchez and Foundation for Florida’s Future legislative analyst Sara Clements.“We’re proud to host this event today to honor Milton Friedman and to educate attendees on all he has done to advance school choice across the nation,” said Sanchez. “Florida has come a long way in offering options for the state’s students to take the education path that is most effective for them as individuals. Friedman was right to help introduce the value of competition in the education marketplace. It heightens accountability and encourages excellence in every educational entity.”During Florida’s 2014 legislative session, lawmakers took a bold step forward by offering the nation’s second education savings account. Sunshine State parents continue to demand options for their children, as demonstrated by the growing waiting lists for choice programs.“Increasing access to these programs, while maintaining quality, will not only help meet the demand by parents but also allow a more customized education for kids’ ultimate success in school and in life,” said Clements. “A one-size-fits-all approach does not work for a child’s education. Every student has potential that can be unlocked given the right opportunity.”JMI’s 2014 Friedman Legacy Day event was co-sponsored by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, a group founded by Dr. Friedman and his wife Rose, to research and promote school choice, an idea he first proposed in 1955.“In education alone, today Milton Friedman’s ideas are positively impacting thousands of Americans,” said Robert Enlow, president and CEO of the Friedman Foundation. “Calls for more personal empowerment and choice can be attributed to Dr. Friedman. And it’s groups like The James Madison Institute and Foundation for Florida’s Future that keep Milton Friedman’s legacy alive.”An advisor to several U.S. presidents, Milton Friedman won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1976 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1988. The author of influential books such as “Capitalism and Freedom,” he was also well known for his appearances on the popular PBS series “Free to Choose.” He is considered the “father” of the all-volunteer military, and school choice.For more information on JMI or Foundation for Florida’s Future visit www.jamesmadison.org and www.foundationforfloridasfuture.org respectively.# # #Trusted Solutions for a Better Florida: Founded in 1987, The James Madison Institute (JMI) is one of Florida’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organizations. JMI is dedicated to advancing such ideals as economic freedom, limited government, federalism, traditional values, the rule of law, and individual liberty coupled with individual responsibility. All JMI publications are available online at www.jamesmadison.org. Twitter: @JmsMadisonInst – Facebook: facebook.com/JamesMadisonInstitute