Students and Schools Win with Tax Credit Program

At the Florida Chamber, we believe Florida wins when families have more educational options, which is one reason we have supported programs like Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which empowers parents, provides students with quality learning opportunities and helps our state succeed.

The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program allows businesses to help organizations like Step Up For Students provide scholarships for K-12 students from low-income families to attend high-quality private schools, helping to break generational poverty by providing students with exponentially greater educational opportunities for success.  Yet, in 2014, the Florida teachers union and the state chapter of the NAACP filed legal challenges to the scholarship program. The Florida Chamber stood for parents and students then, and we continue to do so today. We are proud of the recent decision to strike down yet another challenge to this helpful program.

“The First District Court of Appeals upheld the circuit court ruling that the teachers’ union and NAACP have no legal standing to challenge Florida’s tax credit scholarship program,” said Pastor Mark Coates, a member of the Save Our Scholarships Coalition. “This program now serves over 90,000 mostly minority children with household incomes of $24,000 per year. A strong coalition of over 200 African American and Latino ministers has denounced the suit, and in January over 10,000 people came to Tallahassee to join MLK III to do the same. We hope the union drops the suit.”

The Florida Chamber will continue to fight for parents and students in order to ensure each child has a chance to succeed. You can read more about the Florida Chamber’s efforts by clicking here.

When Students Succeed, Florida Wins

The Florida Chamber of Commerce recently attended a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation strategy session to focus on the implementation of the “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA) — a law allowing for more state control over educational issues and regulations. Increased flexibility gives Florida the opportunity to close the achievement gap and create a high- quality educational system that ensures all students can succeed.

Research from the Florida Chamber Foundation shows that by the year 2030, there will be an estimated six million more residents in Florida and a need for more than two million jobs. Education is the key to every single one of those jobs and it’s easy to see why talent is quickly replacing tax incentives as the most important tool for Florida’s economic development efforts.

To help Florida on its path to ensuring a high-quality education for students, the Florida Chamber continues to focus on key principles such as high quality standards and annual assessments, transparency of student outcomes and school performance, accountability for academic achievement of all students, consequences for low performing schools and more choices for students and families.

To learn more about ESSA and where the Florida Chamber stands, click here.