6 Florida Bills That Hurt Children and Harm Their Schools

From FundEducation Now

HB 7027 by Passidomo/SB 878 by Sen. Galvano Education Accountability – K-20 Data Engine Warehouse

Creates a K-20 Data Engine Warehouse with full intent to sell personally identifying student data to “organizations and authorized representatives” for unspecified purposes. Hides under FERPA protections, without disclosing the radical 2011 revisions to the law that allow disclosing and re-disclosing PII or personally identifying information to any vendor or entity a state chooses permissible .

HB 867 by Rep. Trujillo/SB 862 Kelli Stargel, Parent Empowerment/Parent Trigger

Allows any non-profit 501c3 or 501c4 to raise funds and pay others to convince 51% of the parents in a struggling school to “pull the trigger” and transfer a valued neighborhood school into the hands of a for-profit charter school chain. Parents lose all power after the initial act, bill by-passes the local control of elected school boards and allows the governor-appointed Board of Education to determine the fate of neighborhood schools.

HB 7009 by Rep. Moraitis/SB 1282 by Sen. Stargel, Charter Schools

Frustrated by last year’s failed attempt to gain access to property taxes, the for-profit charter lobby is using this bill to seize control of public assets by mandating that districts turn over any empty district-owned building or un-used portion of a building to any for-profit charter for the purposes of opening a school, regardless of need. This bill further erodes the authority of school boards by requiring the DOE to write and adopt a standardized charter contract, removing all of a districts current right to negotiate individual charter contracts on behalf of the communities they serve.

HB 7029 by Rep. Diaz /SB 1436 by Sen. Brandes, Digital Learning

Significantly expands the range of virtual vendors allowed to operate in school districts to include any approved content supplier in the state and beyond, without limitations. Bill exempts digital learning instructors and vendors from 2011 teacher accountability laws. Grants virtual vendors “conditional approval” to replace classroom teachers with zero proof of any prior success.

HB 1267 by Rep. Adkins/SB 1396 by Sen. Bean, Charter Schools:

Erodes the local voter control created by elected school boards by denying districts the right to regulate, adopt rules or add to, interpret or change provisions in charter contracts and by forcing every district to use the same standardized contract, regardless of district conditions on the ground. Bill authorizes the Florida Commissioner of Education and the Board of Education to bypass the constitutional authority of elected school board members to create district charters and control charter applications, contract renewals and evaluation instruments. Dictates that 1/15th of per pupil spending on charter students are set aside to allow for-profit charter operators to use public funds to purchase and maintain property the public will never own.

HB 843 by Rep. Don Gaetz/SB 904 by Sen. Brandes: Florida Flexible Option Initiative

Bill expands student choice by widening virtual vendors to include public and non-public options and allowing any individual, institution, entity or organization to create Florida-accredited courses. None of the courses, instructors or content providers is subject to any of the 2011 accountability measures applied to Florida classroom teachers.

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