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FL Senate passes voucher bill for private schools. Will cause state to lose 31 million in taxes

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 11:06 AM
Original message
FL Senate passes voucher bill for private schools. Will cause state to lose 31 million in taxes
next year. That means money that will not be going to public schools. It will be used to send children to private schools instead.

Florida is one of the finalists in the contest to get Arne's money. Word is they are doing things of which the DOE approves.

The Florida Senate passed a voucher bill Wednesday expanding a corporate tax credit program that lets parents place their children in private schools

TALLAHASSEE The Florida Senate passed a voucher bill Wednesday expanding a corporate tax credit program that lets parents place their children in private schools the first on a roster of controversial education bills that would have broad import for public schools.

The bill, SB 2126, would boost funding for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program from $118 million to $140 million and gradually increase the amount of per-pupil funding allocated to the students to 80 percent of what it pays for each child in public schools.

While most Democrats have traditionally opposed expanding so-called voucher programs, Republican Senate leadership turned to two black Democrats in the chamber who support vouchers to make their arguments on the floor.

I have fought tirelessly to increase funding for our public schools. I believe teachers in public schools are heroes, but I also believe every child is different, said state Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, who along with Senate Democratic leader Al Lawson broke with their party and voted for the bill, which passed 27-11.


Will lose 28 million in taxes for the state next year and up to 228 million in future years. I love the way they rationalize it as saving money for public schools. Truly amazing how they spin it.

The program allows corporations that make contributions deduct those gifts from their corporate income and insurance premium taxes. Economists expect the expansion would cost the state $31 million in lost taxes next year and as much as $228 million in future years although those losses would be offset somewhat because taxpayers would pay less for students in the program than if they were attending public schools.


That is a specious argument indeed, that it is cheaper to use our taxes to send kids to private school. But people have fallen for the argument, and there has little pushback.

Here is more about the money that is allowing poor children and disabled to attend private schools in Florida.

From December 2008:

More than two years ago, the state stopped giving tuition vouchers to students who wanted to leave failing public schools for private school. Since then, Florida's other two programs that pay private-school tuition for disabled kids or poor children have grown by 21 percent and 65 percent respectively. Today, 42,000 Florida students attend private school on the public's dime. And a new study touting voucher benefits could trigger more expansion.

Why is the number growing? As more people learn about the programs, more sign up. Low-income families are thrilled they can afford to find a school that meets their children's needs. Why are these 2 programs still allowed?


..."A 1999 lawsuit that challenged vouchers targeted only Opportunity Scholarships, offered to students at public schools that had received two F grades in a four-year period. The Florida Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to do that.

But no one has fought the two other programs in court. The state's teachers union, one group that sued to kill Opportunity Scholarships, isn't planning to go after those two because of the cost and time involved. Critics argue the court ruling should apply to all three programs because they are so similar. But the Supreme Court justices noted it would be improper to make that assumption.


The state of Georgia is also planning to allow more vouchers for private schools. It's really a national movement along with the move to turn public schools into charters as the lid is lifted on those publicly funded, privately managed schools.

Georgia may give more vouchers for private schools, paid for with taxpayer money.

ATLANTA (AP) - A state lawmaker wants to expand Georgia's limited school voucher program to include students in foster care and from military families.

Sen. Chip Rogers, a Woodstock Republican, announced Wednesday he is introducing legislation that would use taxpayer money to send the students to private schools. The state already gives such vouchers to families with special-needs students, which started in 2007.

About 2,100 students in Georgia are receiving the vouchers.

Rogers' bill would increase the per-student funding from $6,331 to about $9,800 for special needs students. Military students and foster care children would get between $5,000 and $9,000 each.


The dismantlement of public education is happening very quickly now.

The Florida Senate just helped it along.



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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
1. Damn.
But unfortunately this was expected.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
2. Florida's Senate Bill 6 is even worse


The bill, sponsored by state Sen. John Thrasher, the new head of Floridas Republican Party, would require that school systems evaluate and pay teachers primarily on the basis of student test scores.

What would not factor into teacher pay would be advanced degrees and professional credentials, including National Board Certification, which requires teachers to pass a competitive series of tests that is considered the gold standard for educators.

It gets worse: Experience in the classroom wouldnt matter either. And student test results would determine which teachers get targeted when layoffs are necessary.

Thrasher himself calls the bill the hammer, which he says is necessary to force the Florida teachers union to end its opposition to merit pay for teachers.

His bill includes a demand that end-of course assessments be developed or acquired in all subjects not measured by state assessments or other tests such as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate. But it doesnt provide any money to accomplish the task--even if there was research suggesting these kinds of tests would be useful evaluation measures, which there isnt.

Theres a lot of other awful components to the bill: Newly hired teachers would be on probation for five years and then work on annual contracts for the rest of their careers, for example.


Washington Post
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Yes, it is pretty bad.
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RT Atlanta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
3. And my Georgia is close behind
Chip Rogers is a despicable human being, but he's cut from the same cloth as the rest of his republican compatriots. To me, he's a good example of the GOP's "epic fail" in their takeover of Georgia.

Following is a quick review of some of the legislation that good ole Chip has sponsored:

SB 9 Concealed Weapon; kept in a holster; repeal requirement

SB 67 Drivers' Licenses; examinations shall be administered only in English language; provide for an exception(2) Rogers,Chip 21st

SB 86 Voters; applying to register to vote; persons shall provide proof of U.S. citizenship prior to acceptance of registration

SB 169 Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos; unlawful for any person to knowingly create an in vitro human embryo by any means

SB 223 Women's Reproductive Health Legislative Oversight Committee;

SB 281 Crimes; authorize churches to determine whether to permit persons licensed to carry firearms to carry on church premises/functions

SB 291 Firearms; laws concerning carrying of concealed weapons; revise comprehensively

SB 317Health; provide that no law shall compel any person to participate in any health care system; authorize to pay directly without penalties/fines (RT Comment: Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm)



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Zoeisright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
4. Another stupid 'shoot yourself in the foot move' by Florida.
What a bunch of fucking idiots.
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DrDan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. yeah - like this isn't happening elsewhere
Edited on Wed Mar-24-10 11:58 AM by DrDan
hahahahahhahahaha

calling Floridians idiots - someone from the state that continues to elect a true idiot

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
7. There we go again.
with the unrecs. That is because many don't want attention called to this use of taxes going to corporations in various forms and shapes.
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katmondoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
8. Makes me hate the Bush's again, every single one of them.
This is Jeb's doing
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Riley18 Donating Member (883 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
9. Jeb's "devious plan" continues. They are on the fast track to dismantle
public education now. I think they are doing this undercover while the healthcare stuff is all over the news. By the time this really hits the families of students it will be too late.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
10. Arne praised Florida's planned merit plan recently.
I am looking for the article, but it infuriated me.

50% of their pay will be tied to how students score.

I will never forget the FCAT two of my 4th graders sat out, just refusing to take it. Parents pleaded, principal pleaded, I pleaded. Nope, they did not want to take it.

Their refusal affected the class and school scores.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
11. next after rendering more poor illiterate - literacy tests for voters
Florida marches backwards.

Seriously, MadFLoridian, I WISH you wrote for the Florida papers.

You'd increase the dead tree circulation for sure.

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voteearlyvoteoften Donating Member (548 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
12. rec
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teacherdeb Donating Member (11 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
13. All of this is bad for public
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Tried to check your site out, but server must be down.
Will try again later.

Teachers are famous for not standing up. Before I retired I was often told I was too outspoken if I ever questioned anything at all. Teachers better get organized or public schools will be gone.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
14. Dammit, Al Lawson was my hope for improvement over Allen Boyd
And now he has voted FOR this crap? Man, this sucks.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Jeb targeted his pitches for vouchers...
to the Black community. Lawson may be having to go along. Jeb held rallies with them in Tally when he was governor.

It is the same with the charter school pitch in many ways.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Lawson could have fallen for it but I had hoped for better from him
He's having a fundraiser tonight - I got an invite - but I have no money to contribute.

I guess I will have to offer to volunteer and then let Al know what I think about this voucher crap.
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djp2 Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
18. Time for....
A Teacher's March on Washington!
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