In what amounts to media malpractice, a local newspaper swallowed the liberal bait hook, line and sinker by publishing a story claiming that vouchers are “draining” money from the government schools.
Let’s start with this: every single independent fiscal impact study, eight to date, concludes that tax credit scholarships save taxpayer money that can be spent on government schools.
Contrary to the Florida Times-Union story claiming that vouchers will cost local government schools $71 million, (“$1 billion over five years”) they will save taxpayers millions of dollars.
It is incredible that the editors and publishers would even run such a story without vetting it properly.
The story simply parrots without questioning a press release by the strongest anti-voucher group in Florida, the FEA.
Whatever happened to objectivity, and printing both sides of an issue?
Vouchers do not drain money from the government schools, which are paid a certain amount to educate each child in their system.
If a child leaves — with or without vouchers – the school district is no longer paid – for the simple reason that it no longer has the expense of educating a child.
The local school district is saying it needs $1.95 billion to build and refurbish schools.
If half the students left the system, that cost would be many millions less. How is that “draining”?
Furthermore, vouchers are aimed at helping poor, mostly minority students who are trapped in failing government schools, because they cannot afford to go to private schools as those from more affluent families can.
The rich, powerful teacher union bosses are opposed to helping those students get equal opportunity.
The Times-Union’s inaccurate and unfair news story is aiding the cause of the teacher unions. Yet, its own editorial page has carried dozens of editorials in the past in support of vouchers.
It is true that the story attributed the lies to the FEA, but the story concluded with: “The Florida Times-Union reached out to the FEA for comment, but did not hear back as of publication time.”
Why didn’t they “reach out” to those who support giving poor kids equal opportunity for an education?
Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.