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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Opposing views: Pinellas Democratic lawmakers take sides on vouchers



In case you missed it this morning, there's an interesting dynamic going on among Florida's Democratic lawmakers. It happened on the opinion pages of the St. Petersburg Times.

Rep. Bill Heller, D-St. Petersburg, came out firmly in favor of expanding the state's corporate tax credit scholarships -- vouchers to many -- saying they directly benefit low-income Floridians. "The parents in my district who are poor and motivated enough to pursue this scholarship are not trying to harm public education," he wrote. "Not at all; they're just trying to help their children."

Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, called the proposed expansion wrongheaded, saying the state should put the money into helping improve public schools, and not giving students a funded option out. "If our desire is for parents to "have a choice," why continue to diminish the value and quality of our public schools, forcing parents to demand a private one? Public school won't be a choice. It may just cease to exist in Florida," he wrote. "Bring on the next round of lawsuits."

It seems the voucher argument has gone from the fringes to the mainstream if even the Democrats are arguing amongst themselves as to the value of the idea. Which side are you on?

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:51am]


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