But Bush’s record on education as governor is more complex, with some elements to make conservatives cheer and others, not so much. He introduced a statewide school voucher plan, and was a proponent of charter schools. His A+ plan established tough standards, high-stakes testing of students, and grading of public schools.
Bush’s “One Florida Equity in Education Initiative” effectively eliminated affirmative action in admissions to state universities. One Florida created the “Talented 20” program, which guaranteed admission to a state university to the top 20 percent of students from each Florida public high school.
By 2007, the Tampa Bay Times found “One Florida” had mixed results. The state was enrolling 51 percent more Hispanic college students, but black student enrollment had declined as a percentage of the student body.
Today, Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education raises millions of dollars to promote his agenda. In November 2014, Bush railed against “government-run, unionized, and politicized monopolies who trap good teachers, administrators, and struggling students in a system nobody can escape.”