James Madison Institute

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The James Madison Institute (JMI), a 501(c)(3), is a non-profit research and education organization in Florida. Founded in 1987, it is based on "belief in the U.S. Constitution and such timeless ideals as limited government, economic freedom, federalism, and individual liberty coupled with individual responsibility."[1]


The organization's mission is "to keep the citizens of Florida informed about their government and to shape our state's future through the advancement of practical free-market ideas on public policy issues."[1] To achieve this end, JMI conducts research, holds conferences and seminars, and produces publications.


JMI conducts research on a number of topics:[2]

  • Education reform - JMI argues that in all education issues, parents should have the freedom to decide what is in the best interests of their children.
  • Energy and the environment] - Cleaner environment and economic liberty can go hand in hand, advocate private property rights and market incentives.
  • Health care - Supports market-based, consumer-driven reforms to health care; direct personal responsibility controls costs and provides incentives for healthy choices.
  • Property rights - Supports property rights as basic to freedom; argues property includes all forms of self-ownership.
  • Taxation/budget - Supports reforms working toward low tax rates and decreased government spending.
  • Constitutional and legal issues - "The Institute believes in James Madison’s greatest legacy—the U.S. Constitution—and its ideas of limited government, enumerated powers, minority rights, and the dangers of faction."[2]
  • Other issues - JMI conducts research in other areas dealing with limited, representative government.

Education reform

In the Institute's work on education reform, JMI argues that in general parents should have the freedom to decide what is in the best interest of their children.[3] Since 1996 JMI has published numerous articles covering numerous education issues, including: Florida's John McKay's Scholarship Program vouchers, school spending, school district size, school standards and teachers unions.[4]

Every month, starting November 2004 and ending in October 2007, JMI published Florida Education Monthly. The newsletter summarized the state's top educational headlines and included comment and research by the Institute.

  • In 2008 JMI completed a study, for the Manhattan Institute, that addressed Florida's John M. McKay Scholarship Program's effectiveness for students with disabilities. In the study the Institute utilized individual student achievement data to compare and contrast the performance of disabled schools and private schools. According to their findings, students with mild disabilities improved "significantly" in math and reading as more private schools participated in the voucher program. Students with the mildest disabilities were shown to improve the most while those with the more severe disabilities experienced little to no improvement.[5]


The Institute distributes its research in a variety of publications.

  • The Journal - Quarterly magazine for members and supporters of JMI, also distributed to members of the Florida legislature and others sharing the Institute’s conservative philosophy.
  • The Backgrounder - Evaluates government policies in Florida and offers solutions for reform.
  • Madison Policy Digest - Weekly e-newsletter summarizing policy headlines from across Florida, along with research and commentary from JMI.
  • The Commentary series - Articles combining sound research with easy to understand analysis.
  • Florida Education Monthly - An e-newsletter highlighting education news from around Florida and the country. Includes research and examples supporting choice in education.
  • The Messenger - Newsletter chronicling JMI members and activities.
  • The Point of View series - Op-ed pieces distributed to local Florida as well as national newspapers.


James Madison Institute
P.O Box 37460
Tallahassee, FL 32315
Phone: 850-386-3131
Toll-free: 866-340-3131
Fax: 850-386-1807
Email: jmi@jamesmadison.org

External links