Thursday, May 05, 2011

AAUW Breaking Through Barriers for Women and Girls

AAUW FL Action Alert - Education underfunded

Vouchers and Mandates

The massive teacher bill passed weeks ago wasn't enough. The legislature now wants to expand vouchers for private schools and to expand virtual instruction.

The Senate is poised to take up HB 965 (in lieu of its own SB1388) to allow corporations now to claim tax credits up to the full amount of their state corporate income tax and insurance premium tax and to carry forward an unused credit for up to five years. This bill also allows the large nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations (SFOs with $10 million of approved tax credit allocations the prior year) to obtain from the Department of Revenue the names and addresses of the 100 taxpayers with the greatest tax liability after all tax credits are applied for the sole purpose of raising funds for the FL Tax Credit Scholarship Program. In addition to expected cuts in education funding, this bill would take additional revenue from the state by allowing credits of $175 million for 2011-12.

HB 7197 (in lieu of the Senate's own SB 1620) would require 9th grade students, beginning with the 2011-12 school year, to take at least one online virtual course in order to meet high school graduation requirements. Especially worrisome is the inadequate funding for equipment and the problem many students will have in accessing computers to meet the requirement.

Please contact your state senator right away and ask him or her to oppose HB 965 and HB 7197.

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