Proposed Florida education package would fund scholarships for bullied students to go to private schools

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – Public school advocates are calling House Speaker Richard Corcoran a bully.

They’re angry he’s holding state funding for public schools hostage unless his controversial education package is approved.

A major part of the package is legislation that would fund scholarships for bullied students to go to private schools.

“That gives parents a choice and especially for the kids that are most vulnerable at our schools,” said Representative Michael Bileca (R) Miami.

Seventh grade student Hailey Vadi was bullied at her public school. She told House members she’s been more successful at her new private school.

The scholarship would be funded from sales taxes on automobile purchases.

Motorists would have the option to choose if the sales tax from their purchase went to the program or into general revenue.

Public school advocates say the bill isn’t about bullying, it’s about taking money from public schools and giving it to private schools.

“They continue to come up with funding schemes that go into private pockets but my children’s title one school, we struggle all the time to make ends meet,” said Rich Templin, Florida AFL CIO.

Public school advocates say there’s no guarantee a student will be better protected from bullying at private schools, especially since the schools aren’t required to report bullying like public schools.

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