- How much of its budget does Florida allocate for education?
- How does Florida’s education funding compare to other states?
- How much of the education budget is funded from states sales tax, the lottery, local property taxes and the federal government?
- How much is diverted from the education budget by corporate tax rebates for private school scholarships?
- How much money is diverted from school districts to charter schools?
There are many ways to be heard. Responding to the DOE webinar and survey is one. Writing your legislators both at the state and national levels is another. Showing up at school board meetings can help. In the end, we will also need the courts.
There is a lawsuit: Citizens for Strong Schools that comes to trial in March. The suit supports public schools based on Florida’s constitutional requirement for a unified, strong, efficient, high quality system. Note the word ‘unified’. The school reform movement advocates privatizing our schools by creating charters and tax credit scholarships to private schools.
Testing is the accountability strategy for school reform.
Southern Legal Counsel is the firm that has filed the Citizen’s for Strong Schools lawsuit. They are operating pro bono. If you can help them raise money to cover expenses, then go to their website. You can donate there. Just click the DONATE button. Any amount can help.
I wrote this piece as a lead in to the testing forum sponsored by the Gainesville Sun on September 16th. The issues are there. So are some ways to think a little differently about current tests and testing alternatives. The article was published today. It starts like this: “Florida has been using tests to drive instruction for years”. It ends with putting Florida’s legislature to the test. In between are some ways to think about improving our schools. See the article here.
Nathan Crabbe, the Gainesville Sun’s editor, announced a forum on testing to be held on September 16th at 6 p.m. in Pugh Hall on the University of Florida campus. He will moderate a panel that includes Superintendent Owen Roberts, Sue Legg (President Alachua County League of Women Voters, Susan Bowles (Teacher of the Year), and Shan Goff, Foundation for Excellence in Education.
Are the results for the 2013-14 data different?
Chartrand makes a case that getting children from poor families out of public schools saves the rest of us money. There may be another not so hidden agenda that Chartrand forgets to mention.
You may have noticed a shift in focus on the blog recently. Every once in awhile this happens. I will tell you why. Call it critical thinking and problem solving? Continue reading
The Florida LWV legislative priorities are coming due. Please make your voices heard within your local leagues. In order to be able to advocate for our Education Team issues, we have to make it into the top priorities statewide.
Make education tops for your local league. Here is a list of topics we expect to come up in the legislative session. Remember that committee meetings start in September.
Vouchers for private school tuition were supposed to be for at risk children in poor neighborhoods. In Florida, that assumption was dropped when the legislature expanded eligibility for tax credit scholarships to include family incomes up to $62,000. Now, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is more concerned about the high cost of tuition for middle class families. They want to help.
As you know, Jeb Bush made his mark in Florida with his advocacy for charter schools and vouchers. When the State Supreme Court declared vouchers unconstitutional, they were turned into corporate tax rebate scholarships. The Southern Legal Counsel’s lawsuit against school choice Citizens for Strong Schools comes to trial next spring.
Privatizing schools has turned into big business in Florida. To protect the business interests, legislators are pressured and cajoled. In this report you can see the grades your individual representatives and senators have received from the foundation Jeb Bush created. High grades mean that those legislators are failing our public schools and promoting privatization. Here’s the link to the report.
Remember the Personal Learning Accounts Florida enacted last year for K12 students with disabilities? They provide about $10,000 for private school tuition, services and other materials. Public school students are not eligible, but home schoolers are.
Nevada has outdone Florida. Almost everyone can receive some money. Will public education become a waste land?