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The Constitution of the state of Florida bans the transfer of public funds to religious schools or any religious institution. The ban is unequivocal. It says: “No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.”
In 2012, the state voted on a referendum to permit vouchers for religious schools. The proposed Amendment 8 was misleadingly called “the Religious Freedom Amendment.”
Despite the explicit language of the State Constitution, despite the defeated state referendum, despite the body of research that shows that voucher schools are mostly inferior to public schools, despite the number of religious schools that openly discriminate in admissions and that use textbooks that are racist and sexist, Florida’s Republican governors and legislature have steadily expanded its multiple voucher programs, which currently sends about $1 billion to mostly religious schools. These schools are not subject to the same standards and accountability as public and charter schools. Now Florida legislators want to combine its several voucher programs and expand them.
If you live in Florida, say no to this degradation of public education and waste of public funds.
merges and expands the multiple voucher programs that already exist into two large programs.
If passed, this bill would also reduce the frequency of audits to detect fraud from every year to once every three years, increase the yearly growth rate of voucher programs, and via ESAs, expand the use of public funds for parents to “shop” for private schools or homeschool services.
Here is what to do.
1. Pick up the phone today and call:(Sample Script) My name is (name). Please tell Senator (name) that I strongly oppose SB 48. I support public education. SB 48 is one more attempt to fund private schools and destroy our public school system.
Chair, Sen. Joe Gruters (850) 487-5023[email protected]Twitter: @JoeGruters
Get on Twitter and tweet: Don’t destroy Florida public schools. #SayNotoSB48 @PerryThurstonJr @TinaPolsky @Kathleen4SWFL @TravisJHutson @DougBroxson @jenn_bradley @loriberman @ShevrinJones @JoeGruters @NPEaction @pastors4flkids Stop the mega-voucher bill. I love Florida Public Schools. Stop defunding them. #SayNotoSB48 @PerryThurstonJr @TinaPolsky @Kathleen4SWFL @TravisJHutson @DougBroxson @jenn_bradley @loriberman @ShevrinJones @JoeGruters @NPEaction @pastors4flkids Stop the mega-voucher bill. #SayNotoSB48 that outsources Florida’s $1 billion voucher program to private organizations for profit.. @PerryThurstonJr @TinaPolsky @Kathleen4SWFL @TravisJHutson @DougBroxson @jenn_bradley @loriberman @ShevrinJones @JoeGruters @NPEaction @pastors4flkids
3. Send an email to the senators above, using the email addresses under their names (click the address and cut and paste text below):
Don’t wait. Thanks
Carol Burris, Executive DirectorDonations to NPE Action (a 501(c)(4)) are not tax deductible, but they are needed to lobby and educate the public about the issues and candidates we support.