The League is adding its voice to calls for a veto of HB 7069. Share with everyone. We need a blitz.
Florida revenue is up, but education funding has been cut. The legislature sent a message that our schools, teachers, and students are not valued. What’s the evidence?
House bill HB 7069:
- Substitutes a teacher bonus system for a few rather than give all teachers a needed raise in spite of a looming teacher shortage. Teachers in most charters have lower salaries and no benefits which seems to be the attraction to many politicians even if quality is compromised.
- Takes desperately needed local school facility funding and gives it to privately owned charters. Miami-Dade schools alone estimate an $81 million dollar loss.
- Strips local control of low performing schools from districts and turns them over to charter chains. Then, it provides $140 million in State funds to these privately owned chains.
- Creates High Impact Charter Systems that are independent of locally elected school boards. If things go wrong, parents must complain to Tallahassee.
The Florida House promotes school choice instead of supporting schools governed by elected school boards. The consequences are becoming clear. The U.S. Department of Civil Rights cited Florida for increasing segregation through its charter system. Charters also select fewer students with disabilities and language learners.
It is time to recognize that, in the charter system, parents do not choose schools; schools choose students. If the choice does not work, the students are ‘counseled out’.
Charters have high teacher turnover, real estate debt, and according to the national CREDO Urban Cities study, lower student achievement than comparable public school students. After three years, Florida public school students, initially matched on test scores, clearly out performed charter students in five of seven of our cities.
Parents do have a choice to make. Will they ask Governor Scott to veto this attempt to take over our schools? Will they tell the legislature that our children deserve better?