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Florida Supreme Court rules against school voucher scheme

Proposed state constitutional amendments won’t appear on November ballot

WASHINGTON - September 04, 2008 -

Two proposals that would amend the Florida Constitution and pave the way for school vouchers cannot appear on the ballot in November, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. The lawsuit, sponsored by the Florida Education Association and National Education Association, argued that Amendments 7 and 9, which would eliminate any constitutional barriers to private school vouchers, were improperly placed on the ballot.

The following can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

"This is the latest and most decisive in a long line of defeats for school voucher proponents, not just in Florida but around the country. Voucher advocates knew that voters reject vouchers because they prefer real school improvement strategies, and they attempted to obscure their true objective behind vague wording in these amendments. Instead of rewriting the rule books in order to push through these political programs, lawmakers should be investing in chronically underfunded Florida public schools.

"This is a significant victory in defending the right of every student to attend a quality public school. Vouchers do not improve public schools, where most of our students learn. They create more bureaucracy in an attempt to subsidize private-and often religious-education. Instead, we must invest in proven school improvement strategies like smaller class sizes, qualified teachers and up-to-date textbooks and technology."

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers

Contact: Will Potter (202) 822-7823