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Teachers union to take legal action against controversial voucher law

The statewide teachers union is taking legal action against a new law that expands the school voucher program and creates new scholarships for children with special needs.

The Florida Education Association will release details Wednesday during a 10 a.m. news conference in Tallahassee. Vice President Joanne McCall, attorney Ron Meyer and Lee County social studies teacher Tom Faasse are expected to speak.

SB 850 passed on the last day of the legislative session.

One of its more controversial provisions expands the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program, which provides private-school scholarships to children from low-income families. The new language increases the amount of the scholarship beginning in 2016-17 and allows children from higher-income families to receive partial scholarships.

The law also creates a new program allowing students with profound disabilities to access state dollars for tutoring, educational materials and therapeutic services. The policy was a priority for former Gov. Jeb Bush's Foundation for Florida's Future.

The union opposed both policies, saying they would drain money from public schools. Several parent groups also fought the bill, along with the Florida Conference of NAACP and the League of United Latin American Citizens.

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ed jenkins

The citizens continue to be disgusted that these teachers have a union to look out for their interests over the interests of students and want their local schools to only hire teachers who are in their position because of their interest in our children rather than these who only look out for themselves and view teaching as a job or career.

Killer Fins

Ed,

If there we not public unions in Florida, than teachers would retain all of their first amendment rights to free speech including the right to openly strike. All Florida citizens, students, parents and taxpayers should be very thankful that Florida has teacher's unions paired with a prohibition on striking as part of the Florida Constitution. Ask parents, students, taxpayers and citizens in states like Illinois what happens when any group (like bus drivers) decide to strike. Anarchy.

MarvinM

Please everybody read the article. The third and second paragraph from the end are extremely important.

No one is trying to take anything away from special needs kids.

(And BTW not every private school is equipped to deal with special needs kids. Most aren't, in fact. It's a specialization).

There's nothing wrong about creating "a new program allowing students with profound disabilities to access state dollars for tutoring, educational materials and therapeutic services".

But when that's tied to a bill that also "increases the amount of the scholarship [state tax dollars] beginning in 2016-17 and allows children from higher-income families to receive partial scholarships.", that's where I get off the bus.

If the FL legislature really wanted to help special needs kids, they would send the Governor a 'clean bill', proposing and asking for the funding needed to do the well-intentioned things they state in this bill, "allowing students with profound disabilities to access state dollars for tutoring, educational materials and therapeutic services".

If they really cared about special needs kids, they'd do that.

If they don't, it suggests our leadership cares very much more about something other than the people they were elected to represent.

I sincerely hope every Floridian reading this is registered and planning to vote in both the upcoming FL primary and the Nov. general election.

David

Ed Jenkins, you realize that the union is fighting FOR the interests of public school students, as is usually the case.

The Teacher's union(s) are a convenient political target but they are not the problem in education, at least as far as I can see.

Exactly what have teacher's union(s) done to harm students?

Keith Stegath

My father was a teacher and principal. We're the problem with public schools - not the teachers or the unions. Vouchers are a convenient excuse for our failed policy.
I am an engineer and researcher and a candidate for governor.

Keith Stegath
www.fla-gov.org

Joe Blow

Eds just blowing typical far right wing extremist crap out of his doo doo hole that's all!

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