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School Choice Win

January 2nd, 2015 by flanews

Public school supporters have been fighting a school expansion program for the last six months, but as Matt Galka tells us, it looks like they may be running out of options.


Time may be up for public school supporters trying to stop private school expansion in Florida. The Florida Education Association filed two lawsuits over the summer of 2014 challenging the state’s tax credit scholarship program – a program the legislature passed that provides tax breaks for corporations funding scholarships for low income families. They said it was taking away from public schools.

“It is the Florida legislature’s paramount duty to fund public schools adequately,” said FEA Vice President Joanne McCall in August.

A judge threw one of the lawsuits out this week saying that the teachers union as well as the parents and students in the lawsuit couldn’t prove personal harm. Daniel Woodring represents some of the tax credit scholarship parents.  He says the pending lawsuit trying to prove the expansion is unconstitutional could be set up for the same fate.

“It’s the same argument they tried to make for personal injury under Senate Bill 850, and the court rejected that,” said Woodring.

A number of legislators and pro-expansion groups have been waging an aggressive campaign to get the union to drop the suit. School choice supporter Representative Manny Diaz says the money being used for the program is private – so nothing is being taken away from public schools

“It’s not taking money from our education system, it’s giving parents a choice of where their child was educated,” said Rep. Diaz (R-Hialeah).

About 70,000 kids are currently enrolled in the program.

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