Step Up For Students’ Shameless False Narrative on SB 850 Lawsuit

None of the hacks from Step Up for Students put their name on this morning’s post regarding a group of special needs children’s parents who are “taking on” the Florida Education Association for filing a lawsuit against SB 850. Obviously following the lead of Sen. Andy Gardiner’s opinion piece, SUFS is intentionally misleading Floridians about the nature of FEA’s suit.

Parents of students with significant special needs, including autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, are taking on the Florida teachers union over a new educational choice program. Six families from across the state on Thursday are filing a motion to intervene in a lawsuit filed July 16 by the Florida Education Association.

The teachers union is seeking to nullify SB 850, the bill passed by the Legislature last spring that created a new type of K-12 scholarship called a Personal Learning Scholarship Account. The scholarship accounts are limited to students who fall into eight disability categories, and the Legislature set aside enough money to serve roughly 1,800 students.

The families are being represented by Clint Bolick, an attorney with the Goldwater Institute who is nationally known for his work on school choice cases

SUFS post titled, “Parents of students with special needs set to battle FL teachers union” buries the real nature of the lawsuit and their own self-interest at the end of the post.

 SB 850 also modestly expanded the state’s tax credit scholarship program for low-income students. Step Up For Students, which co-hosts this blog, is authorized to administer both programs.

It’s shameful that SUFS, Gardiner and Jeb Bush’s Foundation  are misrepresenting opposition to a disagreement on public policy regarding children. It’s been perfectly clear from the start that the FEA’s action was targeting the voucher expansion(tax credit scholarships)  part of SB 850 and the legality of the republican senate’s last-minute jiu-jitsu to attach the two bills together.

SUFS’ claim that the expansion  of vouchers was moderate is laughable. There’s a $1 billion ceiling. Moreover, this crowd’s bleeding heart propaganda is transparent and won’t fool people very long. Their choice to mislead Floridians entitled to honesty about the way taxpayer dollars are spent on the education of the state’s children crushes the moral authority with which they’ve anointed themselves.




About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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15 Responses to Step Up For Students’ Shameless False Narrative on SB 850 Lawsuit

  1. Dave says:

    This program has been awesome for my kids. This gives low income parents, like us, true choice in education. Why would any teacher deny choice in education for parents and children?

    • Bob Sikes says:

      Making an argument with a rhetorical question is not a position.

      • Dave says:

        You dodged my question. Nice try.

      • Bob Sikes says:

        I’m glad you’re reading, Dave. But you obviously are under the assumption that you can advance a point with a rhetorical question – or any question for that matter- which is crafted for a designed response. At the risk of being accussed of moral relativism, a parallel to your question would go something like “why would a taxpayer support a program unaccountable to taxpayers.”

      • Dr. Lovebroker says:

        Really Bobby??? I have news for you. Its not your flippin money! Its not the schools money and it certainly is not the teachers. Why would the district want money for a student that is not enrolled. The state sets aside x dollars for a CHILDS education. You can advance a position by calling people hacks? Who are the hacks.. public school money has zero correlation to step up money… ohh step up school s always out perform public schools on standardized testing… facts are tough stuff .. huh Bobby

  2. harry says:

    Your just a marxist teacher’s union hack.

  3. debby says:

    Author, Shut your pie hole your just a teachers union hack. Can you be more obvious. If you weren’t you wouldn’t be writing this dumb little blurb on the internet. Kids deserve to get the help they need.

    • Bob Sikes says:

      Some illiterate anger from the SUFS astroturf trollsformy readers pleasure

      • Virginia T says:

        obviously you need a spelling lesson Bob, because there is no such word as trollsformy. Ebonics is not lost on you. Can you define what the hell you are even speaking about or are you just talking out your butt hole like most politicians that take good programs away from people who desperately need them. You obviously do not have children who need these programs because if you did you would be here with us telling the government officials to keep these programs and make their financial cuts elsewhere.

  4. CASEY says:


  5. My name is Barbara Fleming, I am a supporter for Step Up for Students. I am also a retired teacher and an Assistant Principal. Step Up for Students allow parents of low income students a venue for choice. The school system pays for Alternative Educational Programs that sometimes negatively impact students,then why is it so bad for parents to have a choice as to where their child can get an alternative education? Instead of criticizing private school lets work together to get as many students educated as possible. The important variable here is making sure that children get educated in order to become productive adults.

    • Virginia T says:

      Amen to that. I am glad to see a teacher on our side. My son has a learning disability so he needs a private school to give him the attention to learn that he requires. I need Step up, as a single working mother, I could not afford to get my son the education he needs with out it. Private schools are costly but he was not getting what he needed at public school so I was left with no choice. He is now an honor student and I could not be more proud of his hard work and abilities. He has come so far in his education that if this vital program goes away he will fall behind and get lost in the system just like before. This program is vital to a child like him as well as for others in poverty areas where a higher education can help children get out of these high crime neighborhoods and away from gang life.

  6. Jupiter Mom says:

    Wow- apparently you were targeted Bob. It is interesting to me that not one of these individuals who have left comments have made relevant comments to your blog posting. Your posting is about how SUFS is being less than forthright about what this lawsuit is about. That’s it. Not one person had any comment about that. It’s telling that they do not seem to mind the means to the end that they seem to all favor so vehemently.
    I’ll address your posting- I have a big problem with the set up of the voucher system going through one organization- SUFS. They are allowed to lobby, support candidates and participate in posting propaganda regarding current lawsuits. How are they allowed to do all of this political maneuvering? It’s baffling. How any parent would be commenting in support of this is just as baffling. If they were managing healthcare plans, I’m wondering if people would be that supportive of SUFS self-promotion. And, that no one complains about how much money they give to politicians and spend on promotion instead of ed programs- it’s just baffling that anyone supports this. Thanks for your blog. It’s always thoughtful and informative. Keep it up!

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