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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida ready to expand school vouchers



Florida's school voucher program (aka corporate tax credit scholarships) is poised to be vastly expanded.

The Florida House has just approved a bill that would make more low-income children eligible to receive vouchers, which can be used at private and religious schools. It also would add more money into the system by allowing more businesses to claim the tax credits.

The debate primarily featured dueling Democrats, who split in their support.

Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg: "I believe that what this is about is a child. I don't care if the child is black, white, blue or green. If they will flourish in a private school setting, they should be allowed to go there and not be denied just because their parents can't afford it ... One school does not fit every child."

Rep. Yolly Roberson, D-N. Miami Beach: "If we want our children to have choices ... let's fund public education. ... If we fund public education properly, we wouldn't have the need for vouchers. If we need vouchers today, it's because we have neglected public education for too long."

The final vote was 95-23. The bill next goes to Gov. Charlie Crist, whose signature is expected.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:57am]


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