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McKay Scholarship Investigation

Since 1999, Florida taxpayers have spent more than a billion dollars, including $150 million in the last fiscal year, on the John M. McKay Scholarships for Students With Disabilities Program. In 2011, "Rotten to the Core," by staff writer Gus Garcia-Roberts, exposed stunning flaws in this program, which pays tuition for children to attend private schools.

The story revealed that a lack of oversight and hypocritical design allowed students without any disabilities to be crammed into dangerous class settings and given negligible education. Administrators and teachers have criminal records ranging from cocaine dealing to kidnapping. Kids in these schools are sometimes even paddled, a tactic outlawed for three decades in most Florida public schools.

Both the State Board of Education and the Miami-Dade School Board have pledged, in response to Garcia-Roberts' story, that lobbying for reform of the McKay program will be a priority in the upcoming legislative session.

Stories found
  1. McKay scholarship program sparks a cottage industry of fraud and chaos
    Feature
    Published:
  2. The Fraud Hall of Shame
    Riptide
    Published:
  3. Florida School Choice Honcho Says We Should Be "Ashamed" of Our McKay Scholarship Story
    Riptide
    Published:
  4. Here's Perhaps the Most Backwards Piece of Legislation in Florida
    Riptide
    Published:
  5. A notorious Miami football recruiter has a new "diploma mill"
    Metro
    Published:
  6. Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent, Calls for McKay Program Overhaul
    Riptide
    Published:
  7. Michael Kooi, Head of Fraud-Plagued McKay Scholarship Program, Talks to Riptide About Reform
    Riptide
    Published:
  8. Exposé forces McKay scholarship reform
    Metro
    Published:
  9. Florida Rep. Rick Kriseman Urges Big Changes To Troubled Program
    Riptide
    Published:
  10. McKay Scholarship exposé prompts reform of a billion-dollar educational catastrophe
    Metro
    Published:
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