FEA: Corporate vouchers don’t deserve expansion

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Representatives of the Florida Education Association, which stand for more than 140,000 teachers and educators, are “chagrined” by Friday’s passage of the bill expanding the state’s de facto school vouchers program.

FEA Vice President Joanne McCall issued a statement condemning the measure, which is now on its way to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature.

“The members of FEA are chagrined by the continued march to expand voucher schools that are largely unregulated, don’t have to follow the state’s academic standards, don’t have to hire qualified teachers and don’t have to prove to the state that they are using public money wisely,” McCall said.

“There’s no link between vouchers and gains in student achievement. … no conclusive evidence that vouchers improve the achievement of students who use them to attend private school,” she added. “Yet the Legislature continues to expand voucher schools instead of providing proper funding for our neighborhood public schools.

“It’s especially galling that the voucher expansion was tacked on to an unrelated bill on the final day of the session.”

The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest alliance of current and retired professional employees including pre K-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational staff professionals, college students and universities preparing to become teachers.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.