President Trump visits Orlando Catholic school

President Donald Trump offers offers remarks during a round table discussion that revolved around the success of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarships at the St. Andrew School library March 3. The Orlando Diocese invited the president and Secretary Betsy DeVos to tour the Orlando Catholic school and learn about the success of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program March 3. At right is Latrice Peters-Gipson, principal of St. Andrew Catholic School, where the scholarship programs benefits almost 70 percent of the 343 enrolled students. (JEAN GONZALEZ | FC)

BY JEAN GONZALEZ | MARCH 5, 2017
The Florida Catholic

ORLANDO  |  St. Andrew School in Orlando hosted several dignitaries, including the president of the United States, March 3.

President Donald Trump, along with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Florida Gov. Rick Scott, toured two classrooms at the school and then participated in a roundtable discussion concerning the benefits of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program. Latrina Peters-Gipson, principal where almost 70 percent of the school’s 343 student population utilizes the Florida Tax Scholarship, was among those on the panel, which included students, former students, teachers and parents.

The Orlando Diocese offered the president an invitation to visit the school and learn more about the scholarship program. Reiterating what he said many times on the campaign trail, President Trump said in his remarks school choice is “the new civil rights issue of our time.”

James Herzog, associate for education at the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he thinks there will be a lot of interest in the U.S. Congress concerning school voucher programs. He added he hopes that the Congress will look towards Florida as an example of how school choice vouchers benefit students, families, educators and schools.

“In Florida there are 98,000 students (using) tax credit scholarships. Hopefully this visit will be a shot in the arm in discussing a program like this in some way on a federal level,” Herzog said, offering the example of a federal income tax program that offers credit for uniforms or tuition.

The Florida Catholic will offer more on the president’s visit in the March 10 edition of the Florida Catholic.