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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Democratic leader likes vouchers



It shouldn’t come as a surprise to Gradebook readers that a growing number of Democrats in the Florida Legislature are supporting vouchers. But it still seems noteworthy that the incoming Senate minority leader is not only a voucher supporter, but a quiet backer of both voucher amendments on this fall's ballot.

“Over my 26 years in the Legislature, I have not seen very much improvement for minority kids in the system,” Sen. Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, told The Gradebook. “I’ve seen a lot of promises (but) they’re still dropping out at an alarming rate. I have parents, especially African American parents, coming to me asking me to support those (voucher) programs because their kids are getting a new lease on life.”

Lawson said despite his support for Amendments 7 and 9, he won’t be campaigning for them, out of respect for Democratic lawmakers who don’t. “It would not be fair to my colleagues to have your leader carrying a flag for it,” he said.

On a related note, we’re still awaiting the judge’s ruling in the amendment suit (see this Buzz/Gradebook post from earlier today). We hear it'll be coming down later today or early tomorrow. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:52am]


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