I guess emboldened by DeSantis’s 33 thousand out of 8.1 million votes cast victory, the republicans in Tallahassee are rushing to destroy public education and in doing so are attempting to take a sledge hammer to local control of education.
State Senator Travis Hutson out of St. Johns has introduced a bill that would tell districts, how they should spend any extra funding they get from local millage increases or sales tax referendums. Since Tallahassee has criminally in my opinion abandoned their responsibility to properly fund education.
More and more localities have taken it upon themselves to step up and do so. Hutson’s bill has one incredibly rich and powerful constituent and that’s the charter school lobby. Also do you know what district doesn’t have charter schools? That would be St. Johns where Hutson represents.
From the Miami New Times,
In 2018, Miami-Dade County residents passed a ballot initiative that . That seemed logical since Florida teachersWhile the ballot language clearly stated the raise was to go only to public schools, Florida’s huge, powerful network of charter schools — which teach public school kids but are privately owned and — have launched a campaign to get their own cut of that money.
Last Thursday, North Florida State Sen. Travis Hutson filed S1028, a bill that would The provision applies to Florida Statute 1022.33 — the state law that authorizes charter schools.
“District school boards shall receive a proportional share, based on student enrollment, of local funding approved by voter referendum, including referenda authorized by s. 1011.71, for all funds that are not otherwise provided in the Florida Education Finance Program under s. 1011.62 or the General Appropriations Act,” the bill reads.
That may sound like esoteric legal jargon, but United Teachers of Dade president Karla Hernandez-Mats is crying foul. She tells the bill’s impact is clear: The “proportional share” clause would all but certainly guarantee charter schools get a “portion” of any money that’s supposed to go to public schoolteachers.
“Here we see how they’re trying to circumvent local control of school boards,” Hernandez-Mats told yesterday. “We’ve always been really clear: This money was for public schoolteachers. Now that the referendum is out, charters have been trying to get money from this referendum. There’s been a concerted effort.”
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Then this is what the Florida Constitution says about school boards,
Text of Section 4:
School Districts; School Boards
(a) Each county shall constitute a school district; provided, two or more contiguous counties, upon vote of the electors of each county pursuant to law, may be combined into one school district. In each school district there shall be a school board composed of five or more members chosen by vote of the electors in a nonpartisan election for appropriately staggered terms of four years, as provided by law.
(b) The school board shall operate, control and supervise all free public schools within the school district and determine the rate of school district taxes within the limits prescribed herein. Two or more school districts may operate and finance joint educational programs.
Well friends DeSantis’s latest voucher scheme would see a hundred million in direct public dollars be put into private school’s coffers. Well do you know who is not in charge of private schools? School boards, that is who.
We all get it, DeSantis packed the court with judges he believes will rubber stamp his agenda, but if giving public money to private schools doesn’t violate the state constitution then nothing does because the document is meaningless.
I thought republicans were supposed to believe in home rule? That those closest to the issue were best charged with solving it. That’s not true however, it’s something they tell their members to busy or too lazy to do any research because time and time again they have stripped the local school boards of their ability to educate and do their jobs.
My republican friends, is this okay because republicans are doing it? Or is it not okay that anyone no matter what party behave in this manner? If it’s the latter, when will enough be enough?