I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Unusual Alliance: NAACP Joins Florida Establishment in Effort to Kill School Choice for African-American Students.... has published a piece I wrote recently about the unusual alliance between Florida educational elitists and the NAACP—who together are working to kill a popular tax-credit scholarship that primarily benefits at-risk, African-American students…  from the article

“Why in the world is the NAACP working with these Florida establishment elites to kill a program that benefits tens of thousands of African-American students?”

"As we approach school choice week for 2015, the struggle for choice in education is heating up to a roiling boil in the state of Florida, with 70,000 students and their parents as the unwitting, unwilling pawns in this conflict.
In 2014, the Florida legislature broadly expanded the eligibility criteria for an established statewide education choice initiative that serves primarily poor, minority students.  This Florida tax-credit scholarship program is wildly popular among students and parents throughout the sunshine state, as many of these students and their parents have not fared well in their local public schools-and have instead found success using these scholarships to attend private schools.
Florida corporations like the program because the donations such entities make to the program result in a directly proportionate reduction it their state corporate taxes.
As one might expect, however, powerful special interests from the state capitol were not happy with this expansion.  Immediately upon the announcement of the expansion of this program-these entities linked arms and filed suit to have this worthwhile program scrapped.  The usual suspects were involved; The Statewide teachers unions, The Superintendent’s association, the School Boards’ Association-they all circled the wagons,  joining forces to attempt to fight these scholarships in court.
Their logic for initiating this litigation looks like a clinic on maintaining message discipline.  They decry the diversion of potential state revenue, loudly and often, re-stating their firm belief that if they just had ALL the taxpayer resources then they could “fix” ALL the schools. 
Astonishingly-this coalition against student and parent educational choice has now managed to gain the support of the Florida branch of the NAACP in their quest to kill school choice for poor Floridians.  (The ironic thing is that the primary recipients of these scholarships are poor minorities, chiefly African-American students!)"

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