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I would like to respond to the Local View by Karen Bowling and Tim Benson ("Tax-credit scholarships a missed chance," June 19).

I graduated from a public school in Nebraska, a rural school with a graduating class of 29 students. I received a wonderful education in the rural high school I attended from teachers who cared about their students and the community.

I am currently a teacher in the state of Florida, where the scholarship system and voucher program is degrading the state public education system. The positive scenario Bowling and Benson present is not what many students in Florida experience.

One major problem, among several that I witness, is that the state does not oversee or hold the charter and private schools to the same oversight as public schools. Thus, parents who use the voucher or scholarship programs, who complain to the state about the poor quality of the private or charter schools, are left empty-handed.

A recent article from the Orlando Sentinel states that “The Florida Department of Education also received complaints about 13 other private schools ... most of those who complained received letters from the education department saying there was nothing it could do because it doesn’t regulate private schools.”

This means that there could be uncertified instructors teaching students and uncertified principals overseeing the schools. These schools also do not provide the wide amount of services for students with special needs.

Who is affected most by this failed scholarship and voucher program? The students.

When I read that the scholarship program legislation failed to advance in Nebraska, I was ecstatic. Nebraska would serve its students best by not making the mistake that Florida continues to make by siphoning funds away from its public schools.

Nichole L. Kennedy, Venice, Fla.

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