On Monday, school choice supporters around the country celebrated the announcement that a Florida circuit judge dismissed the lawsuit against the Corporate Tax Scholarship. Leon County Circuit Judge George Reynolds found that the plaintiffs (the Florida Education Association, Florida PTA, Florida School Board Association, NAACP, and others) did not have standing to bring the lawsuit as they could not show how the program harmed public schools and could not challenge the program as taxpayers because it is not funded through the state budget.
This decision is a huge victory in affirming the rights of parents to choose the best educational setting for their children. The statewide scholarship program, Step Up for Students, is the largest private school choice program in the country. It enables nearly 70,000 low-income students, including more than 1,700 Jewish students, to attend private schools each year. The program distributes about $360 million a year from which families choosing Jewish schools receive over $9 million. “Agudath Israel, together with its many coalition partners, will remain vigilant,” said Agudath Israel of Florida’s Rabbi Moshe Matz. “We will continue to defend the Corporate Tax Scholarship Program in light of a potential appeal of the court decision and advocate for even more options.”