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Corporate Tax Credits to Expand

March 25th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

The state legislature may soon send 30 million more state dollars to private schools. The increase comes as public schools are facing cutbacks, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the teachers union is crying foul.

Hear it here: Corporate Tax Credits to Expand

Twenty thousand kids in Florida are now attending private schools paid for by money that is being diverted from the state’s bank account. The cost: 80 million dollars. The corporate scholarship program allows companies to make donations to scholarships instead of paying their corporate taxes to the state.  Sponsors want to allow another 30 million to be diverted to the program this year.

“You’ve got a lot of poor kids who are struggling in school and they’re the toughest kids we have to get the learning gains that they need,” Rep. Trey Traviesa said. “And what some of their parents want is to give them options.”

The bill would also allow corporate tax diversions to grow up to a quarter billion dollars over the next five years.

School budgets are already tight. And the Florida Education Association is seeing red

“At a time like this, this economy being so bad, to advocate leaving a quarter of a billion dollars of uncollected tax revenue, just doesn’t make sense,” FEA attorney Ron Meyer said.

Governor Charlie Crist sounds inclined to approve the increase if the plan makes it to his desk.

“And give more choice and more opportunity and more education? Everyday,” Crist said.

The teachers successfully challenged the voucher program that was centered around failing schools. They’ve turned a blind eye to the corporate voucher program, but they say if it’s to triple over the next five years, they may go to court.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Education, Legislature, State Budget, State News, Taxes | No Comments »

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