WASHINGTON, DC – The Center for Education Reform strongly condemns the lawsuit brought by the Florida Education Association (FEA) against the recent expansion of Florida’s tax credit scholarship program and newly created personal learning scholarship accounts.
“In typical knee-jerk fashion, the FEA is resisting anything that allows students, including those with special needs, to move beyond their zip code and find the learning option right for them,” said Kara Kerwin, president of The Center for Education Reform.
There are close to 60,000 K-12 students taking advantage of Florida’s tax credit scholarships in 2014, representing approximately three percent of the state’s 5-17 year-old school-aged population. The state legislature earlier this year approved and the governor signed a strengthening of the program by making more families eligible for these scholarships, which are funded by private charitable donations.
“The FEA would have us believe they’re deeply concerned about the integrity of the legislative process, which is utter nonsense,” Kerwin said. “This is nothing more than an attempt to deny new opportunities for more families and to preserve an often-failing, one-size-fits-all system.”
Florida is one of two states to earn an “A” on The Center for Education Reform’s School Choice Today: Education Tax Credit Scholarships Ranking & Scorecard 2014. Combined with its automatic escalator clause to meet parental demand for more opportunities, Florida’s recent eligibility expansion bolstered an already strong tax credit program for families in need of educational choices.
“As the 2014 School Accountability Report recently released by the Florida Department of Education indicates, educational options are working. Taking this scholarship option away from families would be a huge disservice to Florida students,” said Kerwin.
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