Education

Florida voucher program gets boost from Miami liquor company

Florida's tax credit scholarship program, which provides private school vouchers to low-income students, received a major infusion Wednesday, as a Miami-based wine and spirits distributor made the largest single contribution to the program ever.

Southern Wine & Spirits of America announced it would put $100 million into the scholarships, adding to the $90 million it had donated since 2010. Florida corporations can redirect their corporate income tax, insurance premium tax, alcohol beverage excise tax, direct pay sales and use tax, and oil and gas severance tax liabilities to a state approved scholarship funding organization and get a dollar-for-dollar tax credit from the state.

"We know the value of a quality education and that the students of today will one day grow up to run our businesses, our communities and our country," Southern president and CEO Wayne E. Chaplin said in a release. "We are thrilled that our tax credit redirection will provide thousands of children with scholarships for school next year."

The program had faced the possibility of not being able to serve new students next year, as its contributions had fallen short, the Orlando Sentinel reported. This contribution should fund more than 16,500 scholarships during the 2015-16 school year, according to Step Up For Students.

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