You have to tell it like it is, especially when so many people have so much money invested in a failing education reform policy. Read the summary of the report: Twenty Years Later: Jeb Bush’s A+ Plan fails Florida’s Children posted by Diane Ravitch. Find out the hard truth about the impact of the A+ Plan on student achievement, school grades, teaching, and communities. Insist on an end to policies that seek to destroy public schools and rob children of a high quality education.
Diane Ravitch and Carol Burris sent out this warning about the false messages that sell privatization of public schools. Their message is clear. You can read it here. in the Gazette. The money is taken from public schools. It too often is used in corrupt ways. They reflect false promises.
Little Steven supports public school teachers and you can hear him sing the song! Steven Van Zandt took some time from his concert tour to support teachers. I think of him in so many way e.g. Bruce Springsteens’ band, his role on the Sopranos. He and Diane stand up for what is right for students. Sometimes he goes by ‘Miami Steve’. He is one of us.
In response to a report by the Network for Public Education, the federal startup funds were cut $40 million this year and another $100 million next year. The committee noted the lack of oversight of federal startup funding.
There is other good news in the proposed budget for full service community schools, look lars remodeling. This is a direct rebuke to the DeVos Department of Education budget proposal. The committee also noted the abuse of for-profit online schools.
Good things can happen! The budget section begins on page 182.
Carol Burris of the Network for Public Education has her eye on Florida’s charter abuse. You need to see it too. Seeing is believing. The problems are really bad. Read the article here We have so many bad operators that Acclaim Academy is sometimes overlooked. it should not be. Find out about what happened to the $744,148 start up money they received from the federal government.
I know there is a teacher shortage, but this just is not right. Vouchers paid from tax dollars; I don’t care whether it is corporate tax or sales tax should not go to unsupervised private schools with low standards. Convicted felons arrested for sexual abuse teach kids…really. Where does it stop? Read today’s sad story and get mad.
The Senate caved once again. Going forward, districts must share local referendum funds with charter schools. In the May 3rd Senate session Part 3, Senator Tom Lee said that he had supported charter schools for years but the ‘industry has not been honest with us.’ He said that they agreed in their contracts that they could educate students for 95% of the FEFP (per student funding). But, ‘they have moved the goal posts. First they wanted PECO funds; then they wanted local millage; now they want a portion of local discretionary referendum funds, look blue spruce maids. He called the current supporters ‘ideologues’ who have ‘drunk the kool-aid’. You can see this on the Florida Channel video at 24:22.
Thank you to Robin Jones for posting this on FaceBook.
When you see the report, you will know what I have been doing for the past several months. I hope you will download it, read it and share it. Florida needs a new direction. I hope the report helps, take a look. The report is on the Network for Public Education Action webpage. Click here. Summaries will be coming out that you can also share.
There will be a significant bump of $241 in per student funding next year. Yes, the Best and Brightest funding was rolled into per student funding and that is not new money. About $160 of the increase is in discretionary funding which will give districts flexibility in allocating funds for programs.
There are still differences to iron out in facility funding for public schools and charters. In addition, the House passed a bill requiring districts to share funds generated by a local district referendum with charters. It is not clear how the Senate sill respond. If passed, this bill could negate any funding gains for many districts. Keep tuned.
I have always liked Peter Green’s posts, in part because I smile at the word ‘curmudgeon.’ In his post, he tells it like it is about HB 7070, Florida’s latest voucher bill. You can read it here.
For several months I have been working on an analysis of the Florida A+ Plan. It should be released soon. I have been looking at the data and asking “How bad is it?” Florida’s education policy doesn’t just have flaws, it hurts kids.