Why Florida Voters Should Vote Against Amendment 8
Amendment 8, on the November general election ballot, if approved by voters, will drain billions of dollars from Florida’s public schools to private religious institutions and well-to-do parents, a newly released report by the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy confirms.
One of 11 proposed amendments to the state constitution on the November ballot, Amendment 8 could cost between $3.7 billion to $6.5 billion over five years, depending on how the voucher program is designed, the study finds.
The report notes that this loss to public schools from Amendment 8 would be on top of the K-12 budget cuts that occurred during the recession. The restoration of $1 billion to public schools in 2012, partially compensated for prior budget cuts, including the reduction of $1.3 billion in 2011. However, the state funding per student is currently $145 below the 2007-2008 level.
“A voucher program would provide private and religious schools with a large new market of students – paid for not by parents, but by taxpayers. Evidence from current programs providing some aid to private school students indicates that the vast majority of students under a new voucher program through Amendment 8 would be enrolled in religious schools,” the authors of the report suggest.