Fifteen Florida families want to help fend off a legal challenge to the state school voucher program.
The families are hoping to intervene in a high-profile lawsuit brought by the Florida Education Assocation. The suit claims that the state school voucher program, which helps low-income families pay private school tuition, conflicts with the state's Constitutional duty to provide a "uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality system of free public schools."
In a motion filed Wednesday, the families said they would be affected by the outcome of the case.
"Most of the proposed intervenor-defendants do not have the financial means to send their children to private school, absent the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship," their attorney wrote. "Accordingly, if the program is eliminated they will be forced to look for alternatives or to send their children to public school -- in many instances the same public schools where their children were struggling or failing before becoming Florida Tax Credit Scholarship recipients."
The families come from nine different counties. (Six are from Miami-Dade and two are from Hillsborough.) Some have children with disabilities. Others have children who attend religious schools.
The attorney said they represent the 69,000 children participating in the voucher program statewide.
Their legal fees are being paid for by the Alliance for School Choice, a Washington-based advocacy group.
Read the motion below.