Thousands to rally for school choice in Florida’s capital

Low-income parents are clamoring for more school choice options for their kids, and the results to date are encouraging. Why would anyone interested in the public good want to block them?

This was the scene in 2010, when thousands marched for school choice in Tallahassee.

Thousands of parents, students, educators, activists and clergy are expected to rally in Tallahassee next week, in a civil-rights-steeped event opposing the lawsuit challenging the country’s largest private school choice program.

Martin Luther King, III, is scheduled to headline the rally near Florida’s capitol on Tuesday, a week from today, the day after the holiday honoring his father. He will be joined by Bishop Victor Curry, of New Birth Baptist Church in Miami who is also a past president of the Miami-Dade NAACP; Rev. H.K. Matthews, a longtime Florida civil rights activist; and Rev. R.B. Holmes of Tallahassee.

The rally is aimed at endorsing Florida’s tax credit scholarships, and denouncing a lawsuit challenging the program, which serves more than 78,000 low-income students. Step Up For Students, which hosts this blog, helps administer the scholarships.

The Florida Education Association filed the lawsuit in August of 2014. Last year, it was thrown out by a Tallahassee judge, and is now being argued on appeal. Groups representing school boards and school administrators have since dropped out of the suit, but the Florida PTA, the League of Women Voters and the NAACP are among the remaining plaintiffs.

In 2010, some 5,500 people marched in Tallahassee in the largest rally to date supporting the program.

The FEA, Florida’s statewide teachers union, has announced a capitol rally of its own on Thursday.

8 Responses to Thousands to rally for school choice in Florida’s capital

  1. Barbara Frazier January 15, 2016 at 9:33 am #

    We are a private school who helps students build the academic persistence to pursue careers and college in science, technology, engineering and math. Without the scholarship programs, these students would be resigned to attend underperforming public schools and would never realize their ‘genius’ potential.

  2. Dave Rojeck January 15, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    Good work, Travis. I am looking to assist in the “greatest civil rights” issue of our generation.

  3. Suzanne January 19, 2016 at 3:52 pm #

    STOP USING MY TAX DOLLARS TO FUND PRIVATE EDUCATION!!!! THIS IS NOT ABOUT CIVIL RIGHTS….IT IS ABOUT DESTROYING PUBLIC EDUCATION AND UNIONS!

    • B.ILL January 19, 2016 at 3:59 pm #

      YOUR TAX DOLLARS FUND PRIVATE HIGHER EDUCATION! WHY IS THIS SO DIFFERENT?

    • Travis Pillow
      Travis Pillow January 19, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

      Hi Suzanne, our goal is to make public education better. The scholarships have been shown to have a small but measurable positive impact on public school results, and they generate taxpayer savings that can be plowed into public schools.

    • Chriseve Lyons January 19, 2016 at 6:28 pm #

      I as a taxpayer and parent would like to be pro choice when it comes to education.It’s not just YOUR tax dollars.Public education needs to be challenged,as do the unions.

  4. Melissa January 19, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

    So why is the Florida education association suing?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - American Federation for Children - January 18, 2016

    […] Tomorrow Martin Luther King III, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s son, will speak at a rally suppo… and the state’s tax credit scholarship program that serves nearly 80,000 low-income students. King will be joined by Bishop Victor Curry, of New Birth Baptist Church in Miami who is also a past president of the Miami-Dade NAACP; Rev. H.K. Matthews, a longtime Florida civil rights activist; and Rev. R.B. Holmes of Tallahassee. […]