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Teachers dealt blow in school choice fight

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Public school teachers were dealt another blow in their fight against school choice. The latest court ruling siding with state tax credit scholarships gives the state’s largest teacher’s union one more option: Florida’s Supreme Court.

The tax credit scholarship program is expected to cost just under $560 million this year.

The 1st District Court of Appeals has sided with school choice advocates and stopped the lawsuit against Florida’s tax credit scholarship program for now. 

Ron Meyer, who represents the Florida Education Association, said they still believe public schools are being harmed with less funding despite the ruling.

"We don't agree that there is no special injury when, as we said in the complaint of this lawsuit, hundreds of millions of dollars are being taken from the public first, with students leaving the public schools to go to these unregulated voucher schools," Meyer said.

The FEA has said in the past they’d be willing to take the fight all the way to the Supreme Court.

"We are reviewing to see if the Supreme Court should have the final say," Meyer said.

But school choice advocate and Tallahassee pastor R.B. Holmes said he hopes it doesn’t go that far. He argues that 90,000 students would have been out of luck had the ruling gone the other way.

"School started this week, and you've got close to 100,000 students that are using these scholarships," Holmes said. "That would be a travesty."

Advocates said the program mostly helps minority low income families whose children were being failed by public schools.