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Monday, 17 March 2014 14:05

Action! Call to stop voucher expansion

Written by  FL Dem Progressive Caucus

 

Action! CALL FLORIDA LEGISLATORS TO OPPOSED HB 7099

Tomorrow (Tuesday, March 18), the House Choice & Innovation Subcommittee will vote on HB 7099, a massive expansion of Florida's voucher system that could defund public schools and divert millions of taxpayer dollars to private institutions with little accountability. The following legislators need to hear from you today in opposition to this proposal, see below.

IMPORTANT: League of Women Voters of Florida opposes this bill, because it would take funding away from public schools.

THERE ARE 9 REPUBLICANS AND ONLY 4 DEMOCRATS ON THIS COMMITTEE. 

YOU WILL NEED TO CALL REPUBLICANS, TOO -- or this bill will not be stopped, and the bad guys win... again.

VOTE 'NO' ON HOUSE BILL 7099
 
CONTACT:

Chair: Michael Bileca (R)  
(850) 717-5115 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Vice Chair: George R. Moraitis, Jr. (R)  
(850) 717-5093 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
 
Democratic Ranking Member: Joe Saunders (D)  
(850) 717-5049 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
 
Larry Ahern (R)  
(850) 717-5066
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Randolph Bracy (D) 
(850) 717-5045
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Manny Diaz, Jr. (R)
(850) 717-5103 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Bill Hager (R) 
(850) 717-5089
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Shevrin D. "Shev" Jones (D)  
(850) 717-5101
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

McGhee, Kionne L. (D)  
(850) 717-5117
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Larry Metz (R) 
(850) 717-5032
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kathleen C. Passidomo (R) 
(850) 717-5106 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Ross Spano (R)
(850) 717-5059 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Charlie Stone (R)  
(850) 717-5022 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Background:
Earlier this year, Speaker of the House Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel) named the expansion of the private voucher program a top priority of his for the 2014 legislative session. This proposal (HB 7099), allows sales tax revenue to be sent to private scholarship organizations and significantly expands the number of students who would be eligible to receive vouchers under the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.


The bill would also:
• Increase the program's scholarship cap to $390 million for the 2014-2015 school year, and keep the limit about $30 million above what it otherwise would have been for several years;
• Remove a provision that requires middle and high school students to attend a public school for at least one year before qualifying for a voucher; and
• Provide tax credits to retailers who send their sales tax revenue to scholarship organizations instead of to the state of Florida.

The expansion of private scholarship programs under this proposal is a further abdication of the state's responsibility to provide a high quality education to Florida's children. In 2013 alone, $207 million was allocated to private schools via the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.  Private schools who accept students on the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship:   
• do not participate in FCAT
• are not required to publicly report school grades or FCAT scores
• are not required to have certified teachers
• are not required to utilize the state curriculum standards 

Please contact the state Representatives listed above today and urge them to vote against this proposal, which will divert millions in taxpayer dollars to private school vouchers. Our elected officials should be focusing on improving our public schools, not on expanding an alternate education system with minimal accountability.

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This information provided by Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida

 

Last modified on Monday, 17 March 2014 14:14
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