Monday, March 08, 2010

Tax-Credit Scholarships for At-Risk Students Extend Civil Rights

Civil rights icon, the Rev. H.K. Matthews, who marched with Martin Luther King, wrote this blistering op ed in favor of the Florida voucher program, blasting the gutless weasels in his own party:

Unfortunately, there are still a few holdouts in the Democratic Party who mistake this option as an attack on public education. Sen. Frederica Wilson of Miami went so far as to call the existence of the scholarship "not America" by taking children out of public schools and "making them weaker." I wonder what she might say to Antonio, whose academic rise is enriched by a private school in her own legislative district.

The Tax Credit Scholarship is not a solution for every child, but it is one tool to aid public educators in their efforts to reach at-risk children. Consider this: The high-school graduation rate for African-American males in Florida is 38 percent. More than half of black males in fourth grade can't read at grade level. Too many of our children are failing and dropping out, and I have no patience for those who would deny them educational opportunities. Through this program, Antonio and thousands of other students like him are achieving success.

I have devoted my life to the cause of social justice for all people in America, particularly black people. I walked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. across the bridge in Selma, sat at segregated lunch counters in Pensacola, and was jailed 35 times during the process. I fought so that the generations that came after me would have an equal opportunity, and nowhere is that more important now than in public education.

Three years ago, I joined 4,000 marchers in Tallahassee to support this program. I'll be back this year with even more to show it again.


Tax-Credit Scholarships for At-Risk Students Extend Civil Rights

Posted on February 16, 2010, 5:07 pm.
By the Rev. H.K. Matthews

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