TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida PTA is dropping out of the Florida Education Association’s lawsuit targeting a tax credit funded scholarship program and this is excellent news for Florida families. These scholarships provide lower income families, most of whom are minorities, the opportunities to receive a high quality education and are funded through donations from businesses across the state. The Florida PTA joins the Florida School Boards Association and the Florida Association of School Administrators in dropping out of the lawsuit.
We all want every student to be adequately prepared for today’s economy and to earn a top notch education. Our students are better prepared for success than a generation ago, due in large part to increases in learning by minorities and low-income Floridians who, in the past, had been left behind.
Those who continue to push this lawsuit are taking time and attention away from our children. Ending this scholarship program would not only damage the lives and future of more than 95,000 students who received scholarships for the 2016-17 school year, but it would also cost the state more than $2.6 billion just to build new schools to handle the ejected students. That doesn’t even include the cost difference of $111 million per year in additional state funding for those students whose private schools currently receive only 80 percent of the per-student funding as public schools.
While the Florida PTA has said they will continue to advocate against these types of scholarships, their decision to drop out of the lawsuit will hopefully lead to all those opposed to these scholarships to drop the suit. The success of all children in the Sunshine State depends on it.