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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Latvala offers to work with teachers union on voucher issues



Sen. Jack Latvala, of Clearwater, isn't the first Republican lawmaker to disagree with the union-backed lawsuit challenging the school voucher program.

But he may be among the first offering to work with union leaders on the issue.

On Wednesday, Latvala sent a letter to Florida Education Association President Andy Ford expressing his concerns about the legal challenge.

"If the Tax Credit Scholarship Program were to be eliminated, there are nearly 70,000 students who now stand to receive scholarships under the program who would be deprived of their opportunity to attend institutions that are better suited to meet their learning needs," Latvala said.

But he also said he shares the union's concerns "about the potential for the unbridled expansion of this program."

"As someone who has supported the FEA on most issues for many years, I would like to offer myself to you as a bridge, if desired, to try to ensure that the current success of the program does not exceed the tipping point of what is constitutional or responsible," he said. 

FEA Vice President Joanne McCall FEA Vice President Joanne McCall said her organization "[looks] forward to working with Sen. Latvala to stop the shame and blame game, fund public schools appropriately, stop toxic testing and do what's right for all schools so all students can have a high quality public education."

"But until then, we're moving forward with our lawsuit," she said.

Read Latvala's letter below.

Download Latvalaletter

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 3, 2014 4:35pm]


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