Update: Not only has Step Up For Students worked in Florida with Betsy DeVos to make low income families the face of its Corporate Tax Credit vouchers, it turns out that many of these religious schools are practicing state-sanctioned discrimination. The Orlando Sentinel has written extensively about Corporations diverting millions of tax dollars to pay for private school vouchers while at the same time proclaiming to be pro-LGBTQ. You can’t have it both ways.
Public dollars should never fund discrimination of any kind. Florida’s voucher schools are free to discriminate against students and family members for sexual orientation, race, religion, political views, ethnicity, hair styles and anything else they don’t like. Read the transcript of words of Step Up for Students President Doug Tuthill and the truth becomes very clear.
Here’s the post of all the corporations who divert their corporate taxes to this scheme instead of placing them in the state’s general revenue where they could be used to fund any one of the underfunded needs of our state from infrastructure to public education.
Here’s the proof that Florida’s Corporate Tax Credit Florida Voucher is a political scheme:
Read transcript from video:
Transcript of comments made by Step Up for Students Doug Tuthill at Berkeley explaining how people of color, especially politicians, have been deliberately targeted to sell Florida vouchers:
Step Up for Students President Doug Tuthill on targeting African-American Democrat candidates to help make “low income” folks the face of vouchers:
”We raised 40M dollars in ‘02, 82M in ‘06, we raised 118M in ‘09, last year we raised 140M dollars and in this upcoming year (’10) we’ll raise 175M (’11) and the year after that we’ll raise 225M (’12).
Um. There’s a 527 in Florida, a PAC, which is affiliated with the (Betsy DeVos) American Federation for Children, called the Florida Federation for Children. One of the primary reasons we’ve been so successful we spend about $1M dollars every other cycle in local political races, which in Florida is a lot of money. In House races and Senate races we’re probably the biggest spender in local races. Because the Republican Party is fairly solid on our issue, most of the money we’re spending is spent on Democratic primaries. And so we’re battling in the Democratic primaries and that makes a huge impact.
I’d like to say people do it because it’s the right thing, but that $1M dollars every other cycle gets people’s attention. WE tend to be the biggest spender, not the C3, the 527 tends to be the biggest spender and that has the biggest impact on the issue. and that’s one of the reasons we’re flipping the Democratic party.
When we first started we only had one democrat in the entire legislature supported the program. Now we have almost half of the democrats.
Now we have almost the entire Black caucus and almost the entire Hispanic caucus. We focus our resources as a tactical priority on high poverty families and so that is another reason we’ve been very, very successful because we’ve make low income families the face of the program.
So, it’s all about parental empowerment. So, here’s the face, the overwhelming majority of the folks on our program are Democrats. I kidded at the last election between McCain and Obama, if you put every McCain supporter on our program in a room, you couldn’t have a good poker game. You know, it’s a very, very strong Democratic audience.
So, if you put those people in the face of Democrats and you say, “How can you deny this parent the right to educate their child in the ways that they need, how can you deny them that tool? And that’s gone a long way….that and all the money. You can now run a school for high-poverty families and its financially viable and so you’re seeing an expansion of these programs.
So now you have ministers, all over the state signing petitions saying we love this program, we want this program. And you guys understand the role the black church, in the black community, in the black politics, right? So when you go into campaign in the Black churches, you know, you have to talk about this issue. And, so the Black ministers have really flipped the Black politicians. That’s really brought most of the black and Hispanic politicians over to the program and that’s been huge in term of changing the political backing.”
UC Berkeley Events Published on Apr 15, 2011
May Superman Pray? The Role of Faith-Based Schools in School Choice School Choice – A Radical Ideology No More
American Federation for Children Legislative Impact Reports
Orlando Sentinel’s Schools Without Rules, a multi-part investigative series, October 2017- June 2018 highlights the complete lack of academic accountability in Florida’s Voucher schools and the 1 billion dollar cost to Florida in diverted tax dollars. https://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-schools-without-rules-story-gallery-storygallery.html