Bay area students, educators head to 'Rally in Tally'

- More than 100 people boarded a bus Tuesday, heading for Tallahassee in support of a scholarship some riders say they need.

Parents, teachers, students and staff made their way to Tampa Bay Christian Academy early Tuesday morning. The group joined thousands of statewide supporters headed to a rally, led by Martin Luther King III, son of Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr. The rally focuses on school choice and the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program.

"I have four children, so I know each have their own unique individuality," said Nina Cherry, a parent and Tampa Bay Christian Academy staff member. "It's important for each of them to get what they need....I have nothing against public school. It's just not for my children. It's just awesome that I have that choice."

Cherry's children attend Tampa Bay Christian Academy. The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship provides qualified low-income students with access to educational opportunities their families may not be able to afford.

Opponents have called the program unconstitutional. Supporters say it is making a difference for Florida children and families.

"We are headed to Tallahassee with 10,000 other people around the state to rally for our scholarships," said Tampa Bay Christian Academy Headmaster Natasha Sherwood. "Many of our kids are here because of the tax credit scholarships and we really believe that a child should be able to go to whatever school. Zip codes are really for mail; zipcodes shouldn't decide where a student gets to go to school.”

Currently, the  Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program benefits 80,000 low-income students statewide.

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