Florida Republicans, aided by three rogue Democrats, rammed through voucher legislation in the closing day of the legislative session.
The vouchers are supposedly for the benefit of children with special needs.
The Republican legislators’ alleged concern for children with special needs is especially hypocritical in view of their failure to act on the Ethan Rediske legislation, would have exempted children in extreme medical distress to be exempted from state testing by local officials.
As we have seen time and again (and as ALEC urges), legislation for vouchers is targeted to children with special needs as a way to promote vouchers. Thus, children with special needs are cynically used by rightwing legislators whose real goal is to destroy public education.
This from a reader in Florida:
This skullduggery just in from the last hours of the spring legislative session in Florida’s right wing Republican-controlled Legislature:
Tampa Bay Times, May 2, 2014: Lawmakers revive, then approve school voucher expansion
TALLAHASSEE — A surprise procedural maneuver Friday helped Florida lawmakers pass one of the most controversial bills of the session.
Both the House and Senate gave final approval to a bill that would expand the school voucher program and create new scholarships for special-needs children.
The proposal will now head to Gov. Rick Scott, who is expected to sign it.
School choice advocates celebrated bill’s passage — an unexpected end to a roller-coaster session.
Joanne McCall, vice president of the Florida Education Association, the statewide teachers’ union, said she was disappointed. “The members of FEA are chagrined by the continued march to expand voucher schools that are largely unregulated, don’t have to follow the state’s academic standards, don’t have to hire qualified teachers and don’t have to prove to the state that they are using public money wisely,” she said.
McCall said it was “especially galling that the voucher expansion was tacked on to an unrelated bill on the final day of the session.”
“Public schools should not have a monopoly,” Senate Budget Chairman Joe Negron, R-Stuart, said in debate. “We have choices in everything else.”
With this development, Jeb Bush must be gleefully rubbing his hands together.
Just as certain as many people here in Florida were, that then-Governor Jeb Bush would leave no stone unturned in jamming his brother into the White House, many of us KNEW that these radical Republicans in Tallahassee would force this thievery of public education resources into law.
God willing, we will flush Rick Scott and as many of these thieves running the Florida legislature as we can this November, along with their micromanaging mentor, Jeb Bush.