Florida Teachers Challenge Voucher Expansion

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Update: Associated Press
July 16, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A Lee County social studies teacher and the state's main teachers union are filing a lawsuit to block a significant expansion of a private school voucher program.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in a Leon County circuit court contends that state legislators violated a requirement that bills cover only one subject. The Republican-controlled Legislature attached the voucher expansion to an unrelated bill on the final day of the 2014 session. They took that step because a stand-alone bill failed to get enough votes.

The $300 million program currently in place served nearly 60,000 families this past year. But the new law would broaden the eligibility for receiving vouchers.

Sen. Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, criticized the lawsuit since the new law also expands assistance to families with disabled children.


News Release: Associated Press
June 20, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Middle-income families in Florida will get a chance to receive a private-school voucher under a significant expansion of the state's existing program signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott signed the bill (SB 850) on Friday.

The $300 million program already serves nearly 60,000 families, but the new law would broaden who is eligible to receive vouchers.

The current program is limited to low-income families. But the new law would let middle-income families in Florida apply to receive vouchers starting in 2016.

It would also make it easier for low-income families to transfer into the program.

But Scott's action could trigger a lawsuit from the state's teacher union. Joanne McCall, vice president of Florida Education Association, said the voucher expansion would come at the expense of public schools.


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