Teachers Union Hearts Voucher Group? Hatfields-McCoys Kiss and Make Up?
I’m too young to be shocked by it, I guess, but a news story in today’s St. Petersburg Times certainly raised a few eyebrows around here in the Education Policy Center. If this doesn’t make you do a double-take, I’m not sure what will:
In a move that experts are calling nearly unprecedented, the Hillsborough County schools and teachers’ union have joined forces with a nonprofit Florida voucher group to help train private school teachers.
Step Up for Students — which runs the state’s tax credit voucher program — plans to spend at least $100,000 on classes for teachers who serve its scholarship students, among the county’s most economically disadvantaged children. The school district and union will provide space in the jointly developed Center for Technology and Education.
“Bottom line is these are our children, they are disadvantaged children, and they often return to our public schools,” said Jean Clements, president of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers’ Association. “I want them to get the best possible education, wherever they get it.”
Hey, did I read that correctly?
Fordham’s Mike Petrilli isn’t so aghast, and actually quite optimistic:
Kudos to Step up for Students, Florida’s (and the nation’s) largest tax credit program, which initiated this effort and is proving that the private school choice issue doesn’t have to be white hot.
Another Mike — Mike Antonucci — says it’s like dogs and cats living together. I’m thinking maybe a big happy shindig with the Hatfields and McCoys. But what do I know? Somebody else will have to tell me what’s going on here. Maybe it really is a good sign….