Education Funding Strategy Getting Clearer

dollar-726881_1280Senator Gaetz and Representative Fresen are meeting this weekend to hammer out the education budget.  I received a list of Representative Fresen’s proposals.  It shifts $430 million in projected funding increases from local property taxes to the State.  The new per student amount would be $7,178.49 and tops the 2007 level by about $52 per student.  This is long overdue.

There are increases in specific areas and as much total funding as reported earlier.

 

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Fla. Senator Favors Charters with a ‘Social Conscience’

curriculum plate-413157_1280Senator Gaetz is thinking about what is right.  He and Rep. Fresen (HB 873) are squaring off over charter school funding for facilities.  Both bills would reduce the amount of capital outlay dollars public schools can assess through local property taxes.  According to the Miami Herald, Senator Gaetz’s bill would also crack down on ‘private enrichment’ schemes that charter management firms use to build and lease facilities for which they charge exorbitant rates.

 

 

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Charter School System Amendment Advances

The constitutional amendment to create a state charter school system passed the House K-12 subcommittee this morning.  We really do not want this.  Contact your legislators.  It would take a 60% vote in the Florida House and Senate to put it on the November ballot.

State of Florida Independent Charter Authorizing constitutional amendment to be put before the voters November 2016.
Parents, Teachers, Principals, and Non-Profit Governing Board Members,
The House K-12 Subcommittee met this morning to discuss House Joint Resolution (HJR) 0759. The resolution proposes amendment to State Constitution to require SBE to establish statewide system for approval of charter schools.
Our Director of Government Relations, Ralph Arza, was present to support the bill. HJR passed its first hurdle. There is still a battle ahead before this House Joint Resolution passes  and goes before voters. We will keep you abreast with the latest updates. The vote was as follows:
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FEA Challenges Teacher Bonus Plan

teacher-403004_1280 (1)The Florida Education Association (FEA) filed a complaint against the Best and Brightest bonus plan.  The complaint was filed with the US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and the Florida Commission on Human Relations.  This is the $10,000 bonus for teachers with high SAT and/or ACT scores who received highly effective ratings.  Well, not exactly.  First year teachers were exempt from the teacher evaluation rating.  Not enough money was allocated to cover the $10,000 cost per qualified teacher.

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School Grades: Gaming the System

donkey-776511_640Charles Dickens wrote:  “The law is an ass”.  The point was that some laws defy common sense.  School grades fit that category.

The latest buzz is about the release of 2014-15 school grades without including students’ test score gains.  This decision is attributed to Governor Scott.  In a way, it makes sense. After all, we have a new state test.  How can you report gains on a new (FSA) more difficult test using scores from an old (FCAT 2 ) easier test?  Hard to spin those scores…let’s see ‘Down is Up”?

The real issue is the law on which the decision is based.  Continue reading

Two More Florida School Choice Bills

 

Twolegislation1 more education bills have been filed.  One extends Personal Learning Accounts for students with disabilities to cover school choice options among other things.  The other revises accountability for schools and teachers.

Remember that this blog tracks 2016 bills.  Go to the top of the Home Page and click on the Legislative Updates banner.  It is the third one following Education Team Updates.

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New Florida Charter School Bill: CIS 16-01

PClegislation1B-CIS 16-01 School Choice

This is a rework of prior bills to create the Florida Charter School Institute which is designed to reduce local district charter authorizing authority.  In addition, it creates a high impact charter district and changes charter board requirements.  This is a bill that revives state vs. district control concern over charter school authorization.

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