Editor’s note: About 200 people who support Florida’s tax credit scholarship program, including many scholarship students themselves, attended yesterday’s legislative committee hearing on a bill to expand the program. Many speakers made many good points, but a woman from Ocala stole the show. The audience applauded her, lawmakers praised her, reporters quoted her. Here is what Chanae Jackson-Baker told the committee. Her remarks were edited slightly for length and clarity.
We keep talking about money, we keep talking about the money. The children are an investment. … I pay $500 a month over what the scholarship covers. … Because we’re putting in more, and investing more, we are willing to give more.
I don’t know about anybody else’s private school, but the one my children attend, they took the Stanford 10, which is actually a lot better … than the FCAT. I keep hearing talk of the FCAT. When my son took the FCAT in third grade, he was doing horrible. He was doing horrible because he had auditory processing disorder. He has dyslexia. He’s on the autism spectrum. When he was in public school, and I hate to bash public school because I was the parent on SAC committee and PTO before I gave up on public school … He left public school reading at third grade, four month level in sixth grade. He’s now in seventh grade and he’s on level. I never thought I’d see my son read a book.
I have my step daughter … she came from a public school. She missed 85 days in kindergarten. No one stepped in. No one. She almost flunked out of kindergarten. She’s now in her school. She’s now excelling.
It’s not just education. It’s character. When my eight-year-old and my nine-year-old come to talk to me about integrity, when they talk about being good to people, when they talk about there being a family at school, that’s what this scholarship is all about. Continue Reading →