The 278-page measure (HB 7069), which didn’t emerge in final form until the final days of the regular legislative session, deals with everything from school testing to recess. The legislation, incidentally, includes $30 million in additional funding for a school voucher program for students with disabilities. I am grateful to Governor Scott for signing this important legislation, to Senator Latvala for championing this issue during the 2017 Session, and to Senator Montford for his continued dedication to our co-workers in state government.
The almost 3-minute web video, released ahead of a bill signing event at Morning Star Catholic School in Orlando, features news clips showing parents talking about their children and reporters highlighting the 2015 “Failure Factories” series by the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida used to pay 100 percent of tuition for those eligible for the top Bright Futures scholarship, but it was scaled back during the Great Recession Scott in his veto letter argues that the state budget he signed increases Bright Futures awards for the coming school year, but that change isn’t permanent. The Florida Democratic Party said Scott and the GOP had “declared war on our public schools”.
Rumors have spread that Scott will sign the bill, perhaps as soon as Thursday.
Well, welcome to the way the Florida Legislature handled public education this year – legislation by scam. Critics believe it would take away money from poor public schools to fund charter schools, which could impact staffing and resources. “We have record funding for K-12 education”, he said. “This is no way to build a high quality public education system”.
“This bill, which faced bipartisan opposition in the State Senate, has the potential to devastate Florida’s public education system”, he wrote. Lee County Schools Superintendent Greg Adkins urged Scott to veto the bill last week, backed by district employees and members of the School Board.
The fate of Florida’s fledging program to help disabled students was also tied to the legislation. “This incredibly important scholarship provides specialized education services to students with unique abilities so they can lead successful, independent lives”.
The Florida House tries to dispell all rumors targeting HB 7069 and produced this video to inform Floridians on the benefits of the bill.
Key parts of the legislation – which includes many other provisions beyond the charter school language, such as requiring recess for elementary school children – were not extensively vetted in the Senate.
The legislation was a top priority for House Speaker Richard Corcoran. “Why should we be giving them to some corporation that has no fiduciary accountability to the county?”
Protesters organized by the Florida Education Association were lined up in front of the sub shop more than an hour before Scott was scheduled to speak.
All session, districts across the state have pressed Gov. Scott on money. Bill Nelson next year, also criticized the bill, as did Democratic candidates for governor in 2018.