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PRESS RELEASE

July 18, 2003

Frances Marine
Press Secretary
(850) 245-0413

Education Commissioner Jim Horne's Statement Regarding the CTC Scholarship Program and the Islamic Academy of Florida

TALLAHASSEE — "Our commitment is to ensuring that low-income children continue to be served by the Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The Department of Education is working with all Scholarship Funding Organizations to ensure that state funds are used appropriately.

"The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been working with the FBI on an investigation into the situation at the Islamic Academy of Florida. I have spoken with Florida PRIDE and based on the investigation, the SFO will no longer be funding IAF, but will work to provide the IAF students involved in the CTC program other academic opportunities.

"In the coming weeks, the Department of Education will continue its dialogue with SFOs in a round table forum to discuss what they are doing to ensure accountability in participating schools."