Trump talks about Jacksonville native during speech to Congress
Mar 02 2017 by Larry Hoffman
President Trump asked Congress to pass an education bill to provide expanded school choices for students and parents, be it private or public.
She told her story in a video produced by the charter school lobbying organization, American Federation for Children. AFT President Randi Weingarten criticized Mr. Trump for "seeing education as a commodity that can be voucherized or privatized".
"Politics do not have a place in education", she added.
Neither the White House nor Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has detailed the administration's plans for a school choice bill.
During the fall campaign, Trump floated the idea of a $20 billion block grant program to fund school vouchers and charter schools.
Advocates of the program say it provides help to families whose children, like Merriweather, were struggling in public school but could not afford private school on their own.
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"Now is the time to act with bold conviction". "Because it does serve the kids, the most disadvantaged students in Florida". The program allows businesses to send money to private schools in lieu of tax payments, with the funds providing scholarships of up to $5,886 annually per student.
The Sentinel reports that 295 students attend St. Andrew via the scholarship, and almost 98,000 use it in Florida.
Florida's largest school voucher program got a nod from President Donald Trump during his address to Congress on Tuesday night, though he never mentioned the Sunshine State by name.
He then pointed to Denisha Merriweather - now in graduate school - and noted that after failing third grade twice she'd found success in a private school that was paid for with a tax-credit scholarship program.
She has received her undergrad degree from the University of West Florida and will graduate with her Master's degree from USF this spring, the Washington Post reported.
"We want all children to be able to break the cycle of poverty, just like Denisha", he said, as Merriweather looked on.