New Florida Video Sounds the Call for Return of the School Choice Jedi

A little over a month ago I pointed out how the Empire is striking back through the courts against successful school choice programs that help students and satisfy parents. The main front in the attack is Florida, where the teachers union and school boards association have sued to stop issuing tax credits, a way of taking away thousands of K-12 scholarships. Rather than have me explain, let’s turn to Denisha Merriweather:

According to the good folks at redefinED, the 1-minute video ad was paid for by Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) and aired last night on several TV networks in Florida. The video emerges less than a couple days after the news that 15 scholarship student parents have intervened in the case to preserve educational options that are working for their children:

The parents include a single mother on disability from Gadsden County, a former teachers union organizer, and a doctor’s assistant who fled Venezuela after the election of Hugo Chavez. They plan to intervene in the lawsuit to represent some 69,000 low-income students who use the scholarships to attend private schools.

They argue in court papers filed Tuesday that if the lawsuit succeeded and their children were uprooted from their current schools, “They would suffer not merely the financial loss of the scholarships, but also a serious blow to the Low Income Families’ educational hopes for their children.”

I wanted to share the “Stop the Lawsuit” message with the readers here because it’s great to see a young person who benefited from a tax credit scholarship come back and speak out herself on behalf of the 68,000 low-income kids who currently benefit.

It also takes me back to last year and a video my Education Policy Center friends created, trying to show how Colorado kids could win with a similar program in our state. That video highlighted the testimonies of Colorado kids and parents who have received a K-12 tuition scholarship from one of the existing nonprofit organizations that give them out.

The problem here in Colorado is that there are more families seeking scholarships than these organizations can provide. A tax credit system like Florida has not only would make more scholarships available, but also would save the state money on a per-student basis.

The Colorado video points us to the hypothetical students who could be served by a scholarship tax credit, while the new Florida video offers the more poignant reminder of what could be lost if the Empire is successful in striking back. Sounds like it’s time for a return of the school choice Jedi.