Video Shows Voucher Advocates As They Reveal Their Strategy, Tactics and Their True Intentions

Scroll down to watch clips from the 80-minute video filmed at a 2011 conference. Listen to voucher advocates discuss their strategies and their true intentions...

The pro-voucher panelists never contend that voucher schools are providing a better education for children. Instead, they discuss the value of these programs in providing religious and private school education and how to use low income children as “the face” to accomplish their agenda. They also discuss political tactics for manipulating minority communities and minority legislators. 
Doug Tuthill, president of Florida’s Step Up for Children voucher program, emphasizes that their success in Florida is primarily because of money, not the success of their programs.

Tuthill’s remarks show that he sees African-American pastors as a tool to manipulate African-American legislators. He emphasizes that ministers are supporting these programs because they are financially viable and never once says that they do it to give children a better education.

Their goal in Florida, according to Tuthill, is 250,000 students. He said they are adding a hundred schools a year and provide funding to primarily religious schools teaching a variety of different religions.

Other panelists refer to special needs children as a “good way to get into the business.” And they explain that the use of tax credits, rather than vouchers, is particularly clever because it allows private and religious schools to avoid controversies such as what to do about social issues such as “gay students.”

“There’s a 527 in Florida, a PAC, which is affiliated with the American Federation for Children, called the Florida Federation for Children,” Tuthill says on the video. “One of the primary reasons we’ve been so successful we spend about $1 million every other cycle in local political races, which in Florida is a lot of money. In House races and Senate races we’re probably the biggest spender in local races.  Because the Republican Party is fairly solid on our issue, most of the money we’re spending is spent on Democratic primaries.  And so we’re battling in the Democratic primaries and that makes a huge impact. … We focus our resources as a tactical priority on high poverty families and so that is another reason we’ve been very, very successful because we’ve make low income families the face of the program. So, if you put those people in the face of Democrats and you say, ‘How can you deny this parent the right to educate their child in the ways that they need, how can you deny them that tool?’  And that’s gone a long way … that and all the money.”  

FEA Vice President Joanne McCall said the video shows the true intentions of the voucher advocates.

“For years they’ve told the public that their advocacy for voucher schools is really all about the students,” McCall said. “This video reveals that it’s all about the money.”

Watch the videos on MYFEATV:

  • American Center For School Choice Video - Full condensed version:  28:13 minutes.
  • Michael Coulson/Cato Institute – On the progress of voucher donation tax program and using Florida as a great example of success.
  • Michael Coulson/Cato Institute – Conceding they are doing a run-around our state and national constitutions.
  • Doug Tuthill/Step Up for Children – On the religious breakdown of participants in the voucher programs.
  • Doug Tuthill/Step Up for Children – On the political squeeze by Step Up for Children on Democratic candidates.
  • Michael Guerra/American Center for School Choice – Derogatory comments made regarding one political party vs. the other.  
  • Andrew Coulson/Cato Institute – Conceding again they are doing a run-around our state and national constitutions and creating a social conflict.
  • Doug Tuthill/Step Up for Children – Q&A where an audience member refers to “drooling” over the money in Florida and Tuthill talks about using lower income children and families as the face of the program.
  • Howard Beigelman/Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations – Explanation of how to use “special needs children” to advance the voucher program in a state.
  • John Kirtley, who in 1998 started the privately funded Children’s Scholarship Fund of Tampa Bay Scholarship Fund.

The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with more than 140,000 members. FEA represents pre K-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational staff professionals, students at our colleges and universities preparing to become teachers and retired education employees.

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