A report from the Orlando Sentinel says tax credit revenue from Florida corporations is down this year. The money is used to fund scholarships for 70,000 children to private schools.
Florida voters rejected these scholarships but the legislature has a work around. They let corporations donate their taxes and bypass the state treasury. One of the alcoholic beverage companies that helps fund scholarships came up $9 million short this year. Step Up for Students, the private group that administers the scholarships will have to make up the difference.
Who are these companies?
We may not know all the companies that are donating, but we know some current donors. They include:
- Rosen Hotels and Resorts
- Old Florida National Bank
- City Beverages Orlando
- Premier Beverage
- United Health Care
- J.J. Taylor Distributing
You can read about these donors on the Step Up webpage. The article celebrating donors states that since 2002 donors have contributed over $900 million to the tax credit scholarship program.
A Step Up for Students website from 2007 also lists CVS Caremark Pharmacy, Wachovia, and Waste Management. Twenty companies, including Geico, are listed in 2012.
FTC scholarships are worth $5272, and they support over a thousand private schools that have no public accountability. They are not required to follow state curriculum standards, administer state assessments or hire certified teachers.
If these schools are exempt from state regulation, why should any school be subject to state regulation? Are we saying some children matter more than others?