Governor Scott to sign HB 7069 today. In a symbolic act, Governor Scott is set to sign HB 7069 at Morning Star Catholic Church in Orlando today. Is private school what we want for our children? We know that Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran wants to start a steam roller to privatize our schools. He has said so publically. The time has come for citizens to stand up for equal access for a high quality public education.
HB 7069 uses charter school expansion to fuel that initiative. Charter schools are privately owned and managed but funded with our tax dollars. Now, our local districts will have to give up some of their local facility funding to charters so they can pay whatever lease and bond payments private charter management firms require.
This is a serious blow to public schools whose facility funding has been sharply cut for thee past ten years.
This is not an issue just for low performing schools who need a boost. It impacts all schools making it difficult to do the maintenance and upgrades the school down the street, your school, needs. We have to push hard to accomplish what some states, like Massachusetts, have already done e.g.
- Impose a cap on charter school expansion.
- Ban for-profit charter school management companies.
- Support better school district oversight to control the ‘self dealing’ that Senator Don Goetz, former Republican President of the Senate, called for last year and the legislature ignored.
It is up to the citizens of Florida to find and support good candidates who will support our public school system. It is time to galvanize support for a campaign to oppose changes in Florida’s constitution that would not only allow public funding of private and religious schools but also remove requirements for a unified school system that provides equal access to all children to a high quality educational system.
The Florida legislature will not provide funds for a high quality system for public, charter, and private schools. What money there is will be divided in three cost inefficient pots. No sector will flourish. Anything expensive will be cut. Mediocrity will reign the day for all except those few who can afford to pay for quality for their own families.