Last Wednesday, the Florida Supreme Court rejected the appeal to remove the state tax credit scholarships made by the Florida Teacher's Union. The union claimed it was a waste of tax dollars that were used to provide for those who could choose to take their child to a private school, and were low-income, and were given a scholarship to help with tuition payments. Supporters of school choice were overwhelmed with joy in the blow against the teacher's union, stating that public schools are understaffed, overpopulated, and were out of resources.

Show me the money

The court battle between the Legislature and the Florida Education Association was also joined by members of the NAACP and alleged that the tax credit favored private schools and took out nearly $3 million in funds for children attending public schools by parents who chose to move their children into private schools that had better resources and educational standards than those public schools in their home district.

The Florida Teacher's Union and the NAACP were told during the trial and by appeals court members that they do not have the proper legal standing to challenge the program and repeal the scholarship given to low-income families who want to provide their children a better education for their futures.

The scholarship program was adopted by legislation 15 years ago to help with combating poor success rates in graduation and reading levels or other levels of learning.

"The court has spoken, and now is the time for us all to come together to work for the best interests of these children," said Doug Tuthill, president of Step Up for Students, to the Tampa Bay Times.

Step Up for Students is the organization that funds the tax credit scholarships for poor students to apply and learn subjects in private schools.

Future rematch

"We're baffled that the courts would deny taxpayers the right to question state expenditures," said Flordia Education Association President Joanne McCall to the Tampa Bay Times.

While the court fight is over due to the ruling last Wednesday, the fight for proper funding for public schools and facilities doesn't stop. McCall will find ways to continue the challenge to repeal the scholarship program from the State of Florida and provide proper funding for public schools to help those poor students and low-income families with the preparation that they deserve.

The funding for the credit scholarship does not leave or enter the treasury department for Step Up for Students, but is paid directly through private donations from businesses that can write off their donation as a dollar-to-dollar tax credit from the state. The program funds nearly 100,000 low-income students with tuition for private schools.

Parents claim that the smaller class sizes and one-to-one coaching between students and teachers are some reasons they cite when moving their children from overcrowded public schools within the state.

Students would be forced to move

If the union was successful in its challenge against the program, many students would be evicted from the private schools in Miami-Dade County because parents can not afford the high fees and tuition costs. About 70 percent of the children being helped by the program are minorities. The union has tried numerous times to challenge the program, but every time it is rejected and denied its claim.