To allegedly help parents understand Amendment 8, one of Florida’s biggest school districts has distributed 69,000 fliers, punctuated by scary claims, in all of its school lobbies and reception areas. “VOTE ON NOVEMBER 6,” they say. “Amendment 8 could impact your public school.”
The Orange County school district tells redefinED the fliers don’t cross the line into advocacy because they’re for informational purposes and state, at the top, “IT’S YOUR DECISION.” But the fliers are filled with the same misinformation being spread far and wide by the Florida Education Association, Florida School Boards Association and Fund Education Now – and left unchallenged by Florida journalists.
“If Amendment 8 passes, potentially billions of state dollars could be diverted from public schools,” the flier says. “If Amendment 8 passes, public funds could be redirected into private hands by funding the education of hundreds of thousands of students in private and religious schools.”
Not true. We’ve detailed why here and here. Amendment 8 would remove the no-aid to religion language in the Florida Constitution, which is a proposition that deserves debate. But to suggest it opens the door to private school vouchers is more than a stretch; it’s wrong. Like the same claims made at school board meetings and in press releases, the ones on the district fliers don’t offer any supporting evidence – and, as far as we can tell, no reporters have asked for any. In Florida, truth continues to go off the rails.