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Fla. Gov. Scott Pushed to Veto School-Choice Expansion by Various Groups

Cross-posted from the K-12 Parents and the Public blog

by Karla Scoon Reid

A wide range of parent groups, teachers' unions, and civil rights groups are mounting an all-out offensive to convince Florida Gov. Rick Scott to veto a bill that would broaden the reach of the state's school voucher program.

The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program gives private-school scholarships to low-income students. Businesses receive tax credits for financing the scholarships.

The bill, which was approved May 2, increases the program's scholarship amounts starting in 2016-17, according to a story in the Miami Herald. It also would give some higher-income students partial scholarships.

The Florida PTA, the Florida Conference of the NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Florida School Boards Association, and the state's teachers union believe the legislation will siphon much-needed funds away from the state's financially struggling public schools. A number of other organizations and grassroots parents' groups have joined the campaign.

According to the story, Scott's office has received more than 1,000 calls and emails opposed to the bill and nearly 700 in favor during the past month. 

The Miami Herald reports that the Republican governor has not revealed whether he will sign or veto the bill. But Scott, who has until June 28 to make decision, has supported school choice legislation in the past.

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