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Madfloridian's Journal
Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Mar 24th 2010, 11:06 AM
next year. That means money that will not be going to public schools. It will be used to send children to private schools instead.

Florida is one of the finalists in the contest to get Arne's money. Word is they are doing things of which the DOE approves.

The Florida Senate passed a voucher bill Wednesday expanding a corporate tax credit program that lets parents place their children in private schools

TALLAHASSEE The Florida Senate passed a voucher bill Wednesday expanding a corporate tax credit program that lets parents place their children in private schools the first on a roster of controversial education bills that would have broad import for public schools.

The bill, SB 2126, would boost funding for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program from $118 million to $140 million and gradually increase the amount of per-pupil funding allocated to the students to 80 percent of what it pays for each child in public schools.

While most Democrats have traditionally opposed expanding so-called voucher programs, Republican Senate leadership turned to two black Democrats in the chamber who support vouchers to make their arguments on the floor.

I have fought tirelessly to increase funding for our public schools. I believe teachers in public schools are heroes, but I also believe every child is different, said state Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, who along with Senate Democratic leader Al Lawson broke with their party and voted for the bill, which passed 27-11.

Will lose 28 million in taxes for the state next year and up to 228 million in future years. I love the way they rationalize it as saving money for public schools. Truly amazing how they spin it.

The program allows corporations that make contributions deduct those gifts from their corporate income and insurance premium taxes. Economists expect the expansion would cost the state $31 million in lost taxes next year and as much as $228 million in future years although those losses would be offset somewhat because taxpayers would pay less for students in the program than if they were attending public schools.

That is a specious argument indeed, that it is cheaper to use our taxes to send kids to private school. But people have fallen for the argument, and there has little pushback.

Here is more about the money that is allowing poor children and disabled to attend private schools in Florida.

From December 2008:

More than two years ago, the state stopped giving tuition vouchers to students who wanted to leave failing public schools for private school. Since then, Florida's other two programs that pay private-school tuition for disabled kids or poor children have grown by 21 percent and 65 percent respectively. Today, 42,000 Florida students attend private school on the public's dime. And a new study touting voucher benefits could trigger more expansion.

Why is the number growing? As more people learn about the programs, more sign up. Low-income families are thrilled they can afford to find a school that meets their children's needs. Why are these 2 programs still allowed?

..."A 1999 lawsuit that challenged vouchers targeted only Opportunity Scholarships, offered to students at public schools that had received two F grades in a four-year period. The Florida Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to do that.

But no one has fought the two other programs in court. The state's teachers union, one group that sued to kill Opportunity Scholarships, isn't planning to go after those two because of the cost and time involved. Critics argue the court ruling should apply to all three programs because they are so similar. But the Supreme Court justices noted it would be improper to make that assumption.

The state of Georgia is also planning to allow more vouchers for private schools. It's really a national movement along with the move to turn public schools into charters as the lid is lifted on those publicly funded, privately managed schools.

Georgia may give more vouchers for private schools, paid for with taxpayer money.

ATLANTA (AP) - A state lawmaker wants to expand Georgia's limited school voucher program to include students in foster care and from military families.

Sen. Chip Rogers, a Woodstock Republican, announced Wednesday he is introducing legislation that would use taxpayer money to send the students to private schools. The state already gives such vouchers to families with special-needs students, which started in 2007.

About 2,100 students in Georgia are receiving the vouchers.

Rogers' bill would increase the per-student funding from $6,331 to about $9,800 for special needs students. Military students and foster care children would get between $5,000 and $9,000 each.

The dismantlement of public education is happening very quickly now.

The Florida Senate just helped it along.

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