February 26 2010

The Sunshine State Just Keeps Getting Sunnier and Sunnier

Vicki E. Alger

Support for school choice is growing, according to Education Week. In Florida, there is bi-partisan support for expanding the Step Up for Students tax-credit scholarship program.

Significant opposition to vouchers remains in Florida-chiefly from the Florida Education Association-but a growing number of Democrats in the Republican-dominated legislature and around the state have begun to shed their opposition to the usually politically polarizing issue, observers say...Forty percent of the families enrolled in Florida's tax-credit voucher program are African-American, while 25 percent are Latino...All of the students using the tax-credit vouchers are poor.

Teachers unions remain strong opponents of school choice, but Education Week notes even Florida Education Association spokesman Mark Pudlow admits, "Democrats have become more sympathetic to vouchers because of their popularity with some constituents."

[NOTE: Vouchers and tax-credit scholarships are not the same thing. See here for an explanation of the difference.]

Florida, however, is not alone. School choice is gaining ground in other states with strong teachers-union opposition, including Illinois and New Jersey.

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