DeSantis greatly expands vouchers, throws pennies at teachers

DeSantis and the GOP have been calling this the year of the teacher but the reality is teachers were nothing but props to give them cover for their privitization agenda. Teachers didn’t win, we lost, and it was charters and vouchers that were the real winners.

From the Tampa Times, 

 Donate, share, get a button. Lots of ways to help that don’t take time or money. The District’s reopening plan just proves we need leadership that will finally consider the needs of teachers. 

Since taking office, DeSantis has actively supported school choice initiatives. A year ago, he enacted the “Family Empowerment Scholarship,” setting aside $130 million in state funds to help up to 18,000 low-income children pay for private education. 

That scholarship program differed from the state’s other programs in that it relied on taxpayer money to support the families rather than being financially backed by corporate donations that never entered the state coffers. Donors received tax credits for their contributions. 

The priority for the vouchers would still be given first to students whose families make $47,638 or less (for a family of four), then families who make $77,250 or less. But after most of the vouchers have been distributed, if there is still money left over, families making up to $83,688 would also be eligible. 

Concerns about inequities from the existing system led to a spirited debate in the spring. 

Reports from the Orlando Sentinel discussed how some religious schools accepted scholarship funds yet discriminated against LGBTQ youth and employees. Other concerns focused on how the state does not hold the private schools to the same academic accountability standards as public schools.

I want to point out that vouchers can pick who they take and keep, many exclude disabled and LGBTQ children, can teach whatever they want, including junk science and history, their teachers don’t have to have degrees or certifications and they have so little accountability you might as well say they have none. For every dollar Public school teachers got, they got four, this and not teachers is what Florida has chosen to invest in.

This wasn’t the year of the teacher. No, we were used to give their privitization agenda cover and its despicable. We have to remember in November.

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