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Is private education public when taxpayers pay it?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to spend state tax money to help families send their children to private schools. In the past, the state’s courts have ruled vouchers unconstitutional, driving the creation of a court-accepted tax-credit scholarship program instead. As that program has blossomed to the size of a major school district, with demand on the rise and studies indicating its success, DeSantis aims to blow up the distinction between scholarships and vouchers. “If the taxpayer is paying,” he said, “it’s public education.” But is it, really? We turn to Rutgers University education professor Bruce Baker, author of the School Finance 101 blog and a leading national expert on education finance, to dissect DeSantis’ simple, appealing yet controversial statement.


Florida Senate Republicans unfurl education plan

After a string of announcements from DeSantis unveiling his proposals for a new school voucher and other changes to education policy, the Florida Senate responded with its own plan to shape the state’s schools — which had some differences. At a press conference at the Capitol on Thursday, three top Republican senators said the Senate is seeking to create a new school voucher called the Family Empowerment Scholarship, which would help reduce the lengthy waiting list of students awaiting the state’s existing scholarship for low-income students, called the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship. Unlike the existing scholarship, though, the new voucher would draw its funding from the pot of money typically set aside solely to be distributed to districts based on the number of students they have — a dramatic change. The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship is funded through corporate donations that the companies deduct from their taxes

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From THE BUZZ - Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 distributed by the Tampa Bay Times

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