Fate of Florida program for children rests with Gov. Scott

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Parents of disabled children are asking Florida Gov. Rick Scott to sign an education bill despite ongoing calls from school officials for a veto.

Florida legislators passed a sweeping bill that includes an extra $30 million for a state program that provides tuition, therapy and other services for disabled children. That scholarship program may run out of money if Scott vetoes the bill.

Scott hasn’t yet said what he plans to do. The measure (HB 7069) has come under increasing fire because it would steer money to charter schools.

Legislative leaders haven’t clearly explained why they put extra money for the scholarship program in a stand-alone bill and not the budget.

Sen. Gary Farmer, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, said disabled children and their families were being used as “pawns to mollify opposition” to the legislation.