Friday, April 16, 2010

INCREDIBLE stuff going on in Florida!

There’s INCREDIBLE stuff going on in Florida!  Check out this video of 5,500 parents and students – almost all black and Latino – rallying for school choice:’s an email from John Kirtley (in the picture, in the front on the left in the suit and tie), who’s been a WARRIOR for kids in Florida:


Dear Friends of Choice,  


Today the Florida House passed a bill to dramatically expand the tax credit scholarship program for low income children, which enables low income children to attend private schools chosen by their parents. The bill essentially removed the cap on the program and significantly raised its accountability and transparency. The bill had previously passed our state Senate.


Despite the frantic efforts of Florida's teachers' union, the bill passed with almost 50% of the Democrats in the House voting in favor. A majority of the Legislative Black Caucus (both House and Senate) voted in favor, and all but one of the Hispanic Caucus.   This stands in contrast to the inception of the program, when only one Democrat in the entire legislature (and none in the House) voted in favor. This change has come about because of two factors: grassroots action and political spending by the parental choice movement.


Florida can serve as a model for the rest of the country. K-12 reformers and choice advocates should not be afraid to advocate for true parental choice; they should not be "charter only".   To support my claim, watch the video. Two weeks ago over 5,500 low income parents and children came to the distant Florida capitol of Tallahassee, many sleeping on buses overnight. At the rally, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the civil rights organization founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., endorsed the bill.

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