Some disturbing facts about Florida’s voucher program

The Voucher program is administered by Step up for Students,
in theory a non-profit but that does not stop it from paying its top executives
hundreds of thousands of dollars.

They take three percent of the money sent to then and last
year that amounted to almost 7 million dollars, to cover salaries and other
costs. That is money that never sees a classroom.
They have undoubtedly used some of that public money to
lobby for more public money and they stand to make more than a million more
dollars each of the next few years if the latest voucher proposal passes.
The private schools they send money to do not have to have
certified teachers or recognized curriculums. Over 160 schools in Florida that
take voucher money teach creationism as science. Most of the voucher money goes
to religious schools.
Where Don Geatz the senate president wants to tie public
money to some accountability measure, Will Weatherford in the house is
insisting those schools that take voucher money be free of accountability
measures. Regardless now they want to open up sales taxes to be used for
vouchers and increase the vouchers so fairly well off children can get them.
They also violate Florida’s Constitution which says …the education of children to be
a fundamental value of the people of Florida; establishes adequate provision
for education as a paramount duty of the state; expands constitutional mandate
requiring the state to make adequate provision for a uniform system of free
public schools by also requiring
the state to make adequate provision for an efficient, safe, secure, and high
quality system.
The
legislature may have tricked some sympathetic judge into saying the tax
scholarships don’t violate the constitution and are not really vouchers but we
all know the truth.
Finally vouchers
may benefit a few children, though kids that take vouchers according to the
states own expert don’t experience better education outcomes, they hurt the
majority by siphoning much need funds out of resource starved public schools.

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