Another Democrat for vouchers, school choice

Darren Soto, a Democratic state representative from the Orlando area, isn’t out to privatize public schools. He supports public schools at the same time he backs vouchers and tax credit scholarships for low-income kids. And he is among a growing number of Democrats who are doing so.

In the clip above (which comes to us from our friends at the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options), Soto makes it clear that he doesn’t see expanded school choice as an either/or. “I’m supportive of that careful balance,” he says, “where we provide opportunities for folks for who the public school isn’t working or who are seeking a parochial or other specialized program, while still making sure that we fund the base program in public schools as well.”

On a related note, check out this op-ed in last week’s Huffington Post. It’s on the connection between vouchers, Hispanics and revitalized Catholic schools. (Ignore the headline. It’s completely at odds with the content of the piece.)

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at

One Comment

Your title is incorrect.

It should read, “Another Democrat outed as liar.”

Democrats support public education. Vouchers and “schools’ choice” undermine public education. Ergo, anyone who claims to be a Democrat and who supports vouchers and “schools’ choice” is lying.

It’s long past time that we true Democrats and true Americans take back our party and country from the privatizers and the profiteers, and stand for real education instead of Loch Ness Monster vouchers, the eugenics of “schools’ choice,” and the pathetically and transparently false claims of “parent power” from advocates of privatization.

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