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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida tops in school choice participation



The Alliance for School Choice has put out its annual yearbook, and for those of you who like vouchers, corporate income tax credit scholarships and the like, the publication brings Florida some bragging rights.

As the nation's enrollment in choice programs has risen 84 percent over five years, with more than 150,000 kids now participating, Florida's programs have led the way. For 2007, Florida had 38,855 scholarship recipients, first among all states. Pennsylvania was close behind with 38,046. Arizona, Wisconsin and Ohio rounded out the top 5.

"The status quo of our nation's public education system is not working for far too many children, particularly those who are minority and low-income," alliance president Charles R. Hokanson said in a news release. "These children should not have to wait for public schools to slowly improve; they need high-quality options now.

Florida's system is poised to grow even larger. Senate Bill 1440 and its house counterpart (HB 653), which would expand eligibility for the scholarship program by thousands, are moving through the Legislature with a growing number of black Democrats on board. The House bill is slated to be heard in the Policy and Budget Council tomorrow. The Senate bill is headed to the Finance and Tax Committee.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:37am]


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