Thursday, March 25, 2010

Speaking of exciting developments in Florida, here’s an email from ed-warrior John Kirtley:

Dear Friends,
Today 5,500 low income parents and children travelled to the distant Florida capitol of Tallahassee to show their support of parental choice, and their support of our bill to dramatically expand the tax credit scholarship program for low income children.  Some of them took buses all night long to attend our rally, and their numbers set a national record for a parental choice rally. We conducted a headcount as they stepped off ninety eight 55-passenger buses this morning, and the total was 5,115. Another 406 arrived in cars for a grand total of 5,500.
Here is one picture of the march, which doesn't even capture the full crowd:
But the numbers weren't the only story. The lineup of speakers who endorsed our the bill included the acting president of the national Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the civil rights organization founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Also endorsing the bill was the President of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and a group of South Florida Hispanic public school teachers. This is far from the typical story line for a rally supporting parental choice, and shows that in Florida this learning option for low-income students has achieved critical levels of bipartisan support.
I am attaching our press release. Also attached is a text of the remarks delivered by the President of the SCLC and a statement by the Hispanic public school teachers.
Just before this march occurred, our Florida Senate approved our bill by a 27-11 margin. One quarter of the Democrats voted yes. We will get half the Democrats in the House. We will get a majority of the Black Caucus and all of the Hispanic Caucus. The bill will clear the House in two weeks.
I hope this day here brings courage to legislators in New Jersey and Maryland.
Thank you,
John Kirtley

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