Local Lawmakers Want State Funding to End for Private Schools with Anti-LGBTQ Policies
State Representatives Anna Eskamani and Carlos Guillermo Smith want the state to stop funding private schools with policies that discriminate against LGBTQ students. The two Democratic lawmakers made the call to action at a press conference in Tallahassee yesterday.
An Orlando Sentinel investigation into schools which receive funding from the Step Up for Students scholarship program, found more than 80 Christian schools that either ban LGBTQ students from enrolling or could expel them over their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Thank you Senate President @BillGalvano for agreeing that we must reform Florida’s voucher program so that it doesn’t discriminate against our LGBTQ kids! We have bills to help, let’s give them a hearing! pic.twitter.com/R6QIcftikS
— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨 (@AnnaForFlorida) January 31, 2020
Eskamani has introduced legislation that would require schools to either change their admissions policies or not receive state funding.
“They can continue to operate but they should not be receiving public money and the state of Florida should not be subsidizing discrimination.”
But Florida Family Policy Council Director John Stemberger says taking this extra source of funding away from smaller Christian schools could cause them financial strain.
“I think it’s the state saying we’re going to punish you because your Christian and you have a Christian view of human sexuality.”
“Publicly pressuring corporations that fund the tax credit program may be the best option for those who want to see changes in scholarship rules because the state’s GOP leaders….seem uninterested in making changes, @CarlosGSmith added.” #FollowTheMoneyhttps://t.co/Q5HUHT97bj
— Rep. Carlos G Smith (@CarlosGSmith) January 30, 2020
Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank announced this week they would be pulling their support of the voucher program as it does not align with their companies’ diversity and inclusion policies.
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