Gradebook

Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Gov. Charlie Crist signs voucher expansion bill

22

April

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist just signed the most sweeping expansion of private-school vouchers in Florida's history. "This is great legislation," he said at a bill signing ceremony for SB 2126 that included both Democrats and Republicans. "It matches our students with the right school."

Senate Bill 2126 significantly increases the value of a tax-credit voucher, offers more incentives to corporations to fund the program and essentially removes a cap on how much they can collectively give.

“This is the largest expansion of a voucher program in the country,” Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, who sponsored the House version of the bill, told the Gradebook. “It’s a good day for parents, good for students.”

“It’s gone too far,” countered Pinellas school board member Linda Lerner, who was among the plaintiffs in a successful effort to overturn another voucher program in 2006. “It’s time to get legal opinion about a legal challenge.”

Among those in attendance at the ceremony: Rep. Bill Heller, D-St. Petersburg. "I am a great fan of the public schools. I argue very vehemently for that," he said. "But there are some kids it doesn't reach. For those kids, this is an opportunity."

Read more here.

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[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:59am]

    

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