In some of his first remarks as the new Florida House speaker, Rep. Richard Corcoran lashed out at the state's largest teachers union on Tuesday, calling the organization "downright evil" for continuing to challenge a Legislature-approved tax credit scholarship program in court.
Corcoran, a Land O'Lakes Republican and a staunch supporter of school choice, declared that the Florida Education Association is "fixated on halting innovation and competition" -- citing the ongoing fight over the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program as an example.
The program helps low-income, mostly minority children afford to attend private schools, and the union has been fighting it in Florida's courts for almost a couple years, arguing it's a "voucher" program that diverts would-be tax money from traditional public education.
"They [the union] are attempting to destroy the lives of almost 100,000 children, mostly minority, and all of them poor. This flies in the face of research. It defies common sense. It is downright evil," Corcoran said in a speech after accepting the speakership.
He urged House Democrats to challenge their "status quo" of the teachers union. "Tell the teachers union they're wrong. Tell them to stop the suit," Corcoran said.
In later remarks to reporters, Corcoran doubled-down, elaborating that the union's actions were not only "evil" but also "disgusting" and "repugnant."
He also referred to the teachers union as "crazy people" and said they have a false, "crazy a-- notion" about what is and isn't a fair law.