School voucher proposal gets new life
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04/25/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:

The state Commission that meets once every 20 years finished up its business today with a flourish. The Taxation and Budget Reform Commission adjourned today after voting to revive the school tuition-voucher program that was axed by the Florida Supreme Court nearly 2 ½ years ago.

The Commission also passed a proposal requiring school districts to spend 65 cents of every education dollar in the classroom. They later decided to combine the two as one ballot item.

The voucher proposal would overturn a Supreme Court ruling that struck down ex-Gov. Jeb Bush's tuition voucher plan. The high court ruled in January 2006 that using public money to help parents move their kids from failing public schools to other public or private schools violated the Florida Constitution's guarantee of a "uniform" free public education.

If approved by voters, the constitutional amendment would allow the use of public money for tuition assistance to parents of students wanting to get out of failing public schools and attend public or private schools with better academic standing.

Ron Meyer is an attorney based in Tallahassee. The Florida Education Association is his client. He argued successfully in front of the Florida Supreme Court that the state’s school voucher program enacted by former Gov. Jeb Bush violated the state constitution. Meyer had several thoughts upon hearing of the Commission’s move today.

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