Peterman supports voucher bill
Count Rep. Frank Peterman, D-St. Petersburg, as another black Democrat who's bucking his party on an education initiative it has long opposed: Private-school vouchers.
Peterman is a co-sponsor of a House bill filed last week (see Gradebook post here) that would triple the size of the state's biggest voucher program by increasing the cap on corporate tax-credit scholarships from $88 million now to $238 million by 2012. Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville and chair of the Senate education committee, introduced the companion bill today.
Several black Democrats are supporting the legislation, including Reps. Peterman and Terry Fields in the House, and Sens. Al Lawson and Gary Siplin in the Senate. Others are expected to join them. The fact that black Democrats in the Legislature are slowly but surely embracing vouchers is a development that has been largely overlooked by the media (though not by The Gradebook; see one of last summer's posts here.)
- Ron Matus, state education reporter