The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, applauds Florida’s First District Court of Appeals for dismissing a lawsuit today challenging the constitutionality of Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program.
“With this ruling, more than 78,000 students will be able to start school this year knowing their scholarships are secure,” said Mimi Jankovits, regional director of the OU Advocacy office in Florida.
OU Advocacy works to ensure that Jewish day schools, yeshivas and other non-public schools receive resources from local, state and federal governments to make them more affordable.
The Tax Credit Scholarship Program, best known as Step Up for Students, allows low-income children to attend the non-public schools their families consider best for them. Florida’s State Legislature created the program in 2001 by allowing corporate donations to the scholarship fund in exchange for tax credits.
Last year, 2,056 students in Florida received $11.8 million to help them attend 29 Jewish day schools in Florida.
The court ruled that the lawsuit, brought by the state teachers union and other advocacy groups, shouldn’t proceed because the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to sue and hadn’t suffered harm from the program.
Said Jankovits, “We commend Save Our Scholarships, which worked hard to fight the lawsuit and defend the rights of students to attend the school that best fits their needs.”