By Dr. Bob McClure, JMI President & CEO
Despite all of the recent bad news at the national level for those who love liberty, in Florida, yesterday was a great day. 5,500 low income parents and children travelled to the distant capitol of Tallahassee to show their support for parental choice, and their support of a bill to dramatically expand the tax credit scholarship program for low income children. Some of them took buses all night long to attend, and their numbers set a national record for a parental choice rally. Ninety eight 55-passenger buses came to town. Another 406 arrived in cars for a grand total of 5,500.But the numbers weren’t the only story. The lineup of speakers who endorsed this bill that empowers families included the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the civil rights organization founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Also endorsing the bill was the President of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and a group of South Florida Hispanic public school teachers. This is far from the typical story line for a rally supporting parental choice, and shows that in Florida this learning option for low-income students has achieved critical levels of bipartisan support.Just before this march occurred, the Florida Senate approved the bill by a 27-11 margin. One quarter of the Democrats voted yes. Half the Democrats in the House will vote yes. A majority of the Black Caucus and all of the Hispanic Caucus will vote yes. The bill will clear the House in two weeks.This proves that school choice can win with hard work and perseverance. Florida is a bellwether state in terms of demographics. If school choice can win here, in time, it can win anywhere.