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Saturday, Mar 28, 2015

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Teachers’ union asks Scott to veto school vouchers bill


The statewide teachers’ union is asking Gov. Rick Scott to veto a bill that would expand Florida’s school voucher program.

The Florida Education Association, which has about 140,000 members, sent its request to Scott on Wednesday.

Among other things, the bill (SB 850) creates partial scholarships open to students in higher-income families in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.

That “diverts public money away from our public schools and provides it to private and religious schools with little oversight or accountability,” said the letter, signed by FEA vice president Joanne McCall.

The voucher language was added to an unrelated education bill and passed out of the Legislature largely along party lines on the final day of this year’s legislative session.

Previous efforts toward voucher expansion died in the same session, but proponents kept trying to revive it.

Florida’s voucher program is handled by Step Up For Students, a nonprofit group in Tampa.

Once the bill hits Scott’s desk, he has 15 days to sign or veto it, or it becomes law without his signature.

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