House Budget Chief: Losses to Voucher Program ‘Relatively Small’

House Budget Chief: Losses to Voucher Program ‘Relatively Small’

The News Service of Florida

House Appropriations Chairman Travis Cummings on Wednesday said he is not overly concerned about the financial impact of corporate donors halting donations to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program. School voucher supporters said this week the decision by Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank to stop future contributions to the program are a threat to the number of scholarships low-income students can receive to attend private schools.

The banks said they would stop contributions after an Orlando Sentinel investigation found 83 religious schools that accepted state-funded vouchers had policies that explicitly barred gay students from enrolling in the school.

Cummings, R-Fleming Island, said it is too early to tell if those corporate donors will have an impact on the program. At this point, he doesn’t find the funding issue “overly concerning,” Cummings told reporters after a House Appropriations Committee meeting Wednesday.

“At the time being, I am hearing it’s about $10 million or $12 million. I am not saying that is not significant, but in terms of the whole program, you know, I think that is a relatively small amount,” he said. Cummings said other companies potentially will fill funding gaps created by businesses that no longer want to be associated with the program.

Under the program, businesses receive tax credits for contributing money to nonprofit organizations that, in turn, provide scholarships to students to attend private schools.

“As new information comes in and we hear from stakeholders that there are some students that are not receiving these scholarships as a result of these withdrawals, I think at that time we will figure that out,” Cummings said.

5 Responses to "House Budget Chief: Losses to Voucher Program ‘Relatively Small’"

    1. Low-income families can not afford to live in strong districts where more money is given through the wealthy families and businesses in their districts for more resources. This makes it so low income schools can not compete with the academics in the High income and Middle Income schools therefore they are seeking better. Can’t blame them for that.

      1. Sorry but, I don’t buy that excuse. When we moved here back in 68, I went to 4 different Grade Schools, WT Moore, Astoria Park, Carolyn Brevard before ending up at John G. Riley. I did not see a difference in any of those Schools when it came to Learning, Class Sizes, Library’s and Playgrounds. The only differences I saw were the Buildings. The only issues I see now is that the Schools are teaching to much using Computers. They should bring back the text Books and leave the Computers until High School.

        1. Dave, buy it or not, facts are facts. Grades from the schools you highlighted:

          Riley, D
          WT Moore C
          Astoria Park, C
          Brevard (closed)

          I’m not sure you are In touch with the current education disaster. We need new leadership in Leon County. Hanna is self serving.

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