Students with special needs or from low-income families in Florida are seeing school options threatened by “a bumper crop of litigation,” says Joshua Dunn, associate director of the Center for the Study of Government and the Individual at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
The latest of three lawsuits threatening school choice in the Sunshine State was filed Aug. 28. If it is successful, 67,000 children from low-income families will be forced out of the schools they chose and back into the traditional public schools they had opted out of for so many years.
“I don’t understand why there is such controversy surrounding the program,” said Faith Manuel, a Florida mom whose three children have participated in one of the programs. “I’ve only experienced benefits from it for my children … It just really helps me do the job I wanted to do in creating and raising people who are going to be good human citizens, and it’s been successful in doing that.”
Florida’s tax-credit scholarship program has been running for 13 years and serves tens of thousands of children. So it’s unusual that a lawsuit would come now, Dunn said.
‘The opponents of school choice like to attack the (programs) early and quickly because the longer the program exists, the more of a constituency is developed, and the bigger the constituency, the more dangerous it is, politically, to attack it,” he said.
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By Mary C. Tillotson | Watchdog.org