From St. Augustine Record reporter Marcia Lane:
A Senate subcommittee approved an amendment on Tuesday expanding the voucher program, known as the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, adding it to a bill that helps parents of disabled children get additional educational services.
Opponents say the plan is going to hurt public schools and the state’s children. Among major complaints is the lack of accountability.
“Our concern is the same as it always has been, and that is there’s no accountability or transparency in voucher legislation,” St. Johns County School Superintendent Joseph Joyner said. “We believe all students that get taxpayers’ money should be held to the same level of accountability. … We have no idea where those children are and how they’re doing.”
Hiding in their ideological bunker, Florida republican legislators continue to ignore the people who matter on voucher expansion. And not just school superintendents. Voters, too. A poll commissioned by Sunshine State News found that an overwhelming number of Floridians oppose school vouchers.
It would have been simple enough to have voucher schools take the same tests that public schools do, and legislative republicans have not explained why they didn’t. As their testing policies mandate that terminally ill children take FCAT, their position that vouchers kids don’t have to is neither morally nor intellectually defensible.