Gov. Rick Scott signs bill to help charter schools

Florida Gov. to approve pay raise bill for state workers
State law enforcement, employees get pay raise
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27 June, 2017

In a letter sent earlier this week to Scott urging the governor to veto the bill, Sen Gary Farmer, D-Lighthouse Point, called it a "dreadful piece of legislation" that would "dramatically reduce the ability of school districts across the state to devote resources towards improving our public education".

The almost 300-page piece of legislation includes an expansion of the Gardiner Scholarship program, named for former Senate President Andy Gardiner, which helps fund scholarships for students with disabilities.

"By working with the Florida Legislature, over the past six and a half years we have cut more than $6.7 billion in taxes, reduced 4,800 burdensome regulations and made important investments to help create opportunities across Florida for future generations", he said.

Now Scott is set to sign the legislation at Morning Star Catholic School in Orlando, a symbolic move that underscores his support for the DeVos/Trump principle that public money should be used for private and religious school education.

School boards and teachers unions across the state, including Duval's, say the new law House Bill 7069 favors charters schools and could cause many public schools to close. The Florida Democratic Party said Scott and the GOP had "declared war on our public schools".

Scott hasn't passed all education bills this session.

Mostly, the legislation - and thus the public response - pitted school choice activists against traditional public school supporters and officials, who anxious the bill will funnel important funding away from schools and provide students with subpar classroom instruction as a result.

Brown also criticized the "back room" nature of how the bill was crafted and approved. "Blindly jumping into this so-called "fundamental transformation' of how we educate our children is based nearly entirely on ideology", she said. This is no way to build a high quality public education system". It is thanks to their hard work and unyielding commitment that Florida is now at a 46-year crime low - an achievement I was proud to announce today. These courageous men and women make a conscious choice to put their life on the line to protect our communities and they deserve our thanks and recognition for their incredibly important work. But Scott and the others have heard the criticism for weeks, since Corcoran unveiled the massive HB 7069 on May 9.

The legislation was a top priority for House Speaker Richard Corcoran. "We think, they're all going to go up to a 'C, ' based off the data that we seen", Couch said.

Scott signed 28 other bills Wednesday and vetoed a higher-education measure (SB 374) that was a priority of Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart.

Corcoran called "the most transformative pro-parent, pro-student, pro-teacher, and pro-public education bill" in Florida history.

The battle is over giving state money to charter schools. School superintendents were among the main critics, citing a provision that now mandates districts must share construction money with charter schools and a planned restructuring of how districts can spend federal money that is provided to help low-income students.


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