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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

For profit public education gets one step closer

From the Miami Herald

by Patricia Mazzel

School vouchers bill moves along in House. With little debate, a proposal that would make it easier for students to qualify for school vouchers breezed through the Florida House K-20 Innovation Subcommittee Tuesday.

The measure, HB 1331, would broaden the definition of a struggling school so more students could opt to leave that public school for another, better-performing one under the state's Opportunity Scholarship Program.

The controversial program was created in 1999. In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a portion of the program that allowed students to take the scholarship to move from a public school to a private one was unconstitutional.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Michael Bileca, R-Miami, could require school districts to spend more money on busing for students who choose to attend a different school. But the bill garnered bipartisan support in Tuesday's committee, though members said they still have questions to ask of Bileca, who was absent due to a family emergency.

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