Thousands rally for Florida tax credit scholarships

Teachers union suit claims "no accountablity"

Temple Terrace -

Two of Aubrey Henson’s children go the Florida College Academy in Temple Terrace.

And she wouldn’t want it any other way.

“I feel like throwing them into public schools. It would be a shock,” she said.

The private faith based school has been around for decades.

And almost 40 percent of it’s students are here on scholarships thanks to the programs like Step Up For Students.

They provide income based scholarships, so parents have a choice to take their kids out of low performing public schools. 

“The voucher gave us something that we could never have without it,” said Henson.

But the voucher program is facing a lawsuit from the statewide teacher’s union, the Florida Education Association. 

They say the programs force taxpayers to support private schools that are “largely unregulated.”

They also says there is “little to no accountability.”

And the schools “don’t have to hire qualified teachers.”

But supporters of the scholarships showed up in Tallahassee by the thousands Tuesday, pushing for the teacher’s union to the drop the suit.

Martin Luther King, III was the keynote speaker.

“Some people want their children to go to magnet schools, some want charter schools, some want virtual schools. There are all kinds of options and every kid is different,” said King.

There is also the issue of public money going toward schools with religious curriculum.

Henson sees that as an added benefit.

“They sing, they pray. They have bible class. And they are also getting a great education,” she said.

In 2006, the Florida supreme court declared similar scholarship program unconstitutional.

The teachers union is planning it’s own rally at the Capitol on Thursday.

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