Yes, There IS Hope! The Senate is Listening and Acting

florida-historic-capitolI asked Debbie, our League lobbyist, had Brandes’ municipal charter bill died?  I could not find it last night.  I know it is hard to hope, but today it is much easier.  When major legislators acknowledge the problem, change will happen.  It may take some time, so keep on keeping on.

Read her response:

 

 

 

 

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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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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

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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Class Size Policies: Charters Avoid Mandate But Public Schools Can’t?

john leggIt is curious that Senator Legg believes that charter schools should escape class size mandates, but public schools are exploiting loop holes if they have the same flexibility.

There are times when, under the guise of flexibility, school choice is simply a way to avoid laws designed to protect the interests of children.  Class size was mandated by voters in 2002 in the Florida constitution.  Charters were able to use a school average class size but not district schools.

Laws implementing the amendment should be applied to all schools in the same way.  They are not.  Schools of Choice play by different rules.  Districts want the same flexibility as charter schools.  They found a way, but  now Senator Legg wants to close that option for school districts.

 

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