ORLANDO, Fla. — Two major banks have announced that they will no longer donate to Florida’s voucher program following reports of anti-LGBTQ school policies enacted by some state-funded schools.
- Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bank pull Florida school voucher program donations
- Report has revealed schools with anti-LGBTQ policies funded by program
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Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank confirmed with Spectrum News Wednesday that the companies will no longer support the program.
Wells Fargo’s Assistant VP of Corporate Communications Gabriela Lambertus said, “All of us at Wells Fargo highly value diversity and inclusion, and we oppose discrimination of any kind.”
Ed Loyd, a spokesperson with Fifth Third Bank, shared the following statement with Spectrum News:
“We stand with #LGBTQ students and parents. While the scholarship is to the parents and students and not the school, given the additional information we received, we reevaluated further participation and communicated our decision to the program officials to not contribute further until more inclusive policies have been adopted by all participating schools to protect the sexual orientation of all our students.”
The moves come after an Orlando Sentinel investigation found that 156 private Christian schools with alleged anti-LGBTQ views educated more than 20,800 students with tuition paid for by state scholarships.
Of those schools, 83 refused to admit LGBTQ students or would expel them if their sexual orientation or gender identity were discovered, according to the report.
The investigation also found that many companies with pro-LGBTQ policies had donated to the program in exchange for write-offs on their state tax bills. Among them was Fifth Third Bank, which contributed $5.4 million in 2018 to the program.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.