Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Florida Gov. to sign bill that shifts students to charters

Florida Gov. to sign bill that shifts students to charters

He bragged about transparency while secretly stitching together pieces of more than 50 bills into HB 7069 and springing it on lawmakers in the final days of the regular session.

Gov. Scott has till the last week of June to sign or veto the education bill.

The 278-page measure would impact everything from recess and testing, to teacher bonuses. Now Republican leaders in Tallahassee all claim to be winners, and the losers are the school superintendents, principals and teachers who begged the governor to veto House Speaker Richard Corcoran's scheme to eviscerate public education.

After Scott spoke about the special session, FEA President Joanne McCall shook his hand and asked him to kill the legislation.

"With the signing of this bill, our state employees will receive a well-deserved pay raise, and our state law enforcement officers will receive a 5 percent raise for their life-saving work", Scott said. "And I've got news for them, they need to be focus on building handsome minds, not attractive buildings".

"I'm still reviewing it", he said.

"I don't want to sound too passionate but I think that the districts need to fix themselves".

Critics are angered because the bill gives $140 million in taxpayer money to privately-run charter schools.

This part of the bill sparked a sharp debate in the Legislature, as some opponents said it would open the door to criminalizing drug users, not just drug traffickers.

The budget includes $126 million for an estimated 45,000 Bright Futures scholars who are expected to qualify for full tuition and fee coverage in the 2017-18 academic year, along with $26 million to provide each student with $300 per semester for books.

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Scalise underwent surgery for his injuries, according to his official Facebook page , and is now listed in stable condition. A total of five people, including Scalise and the gunman, were injured in the shooting, according to multiple reports .

They point to the proposal's more popular components, like teacher bonuses and mandatory recess for elementary students.

Doromal had a strong message for Scott.

Supporters argued the bill was a necessary move to increase school-choice options.

Duval County School Board member Becki Couch says the new law is devastating for Duval County.

"I think you're going to see it go viral in the other 49 states", Corcoran said.

School superintendents, including the one from Corcoran's home county, say forcing them to steer more money to charter schools will harm students in traditional public schools and could lead to budget cuts and layoffs.

Those fighting the bill question the outpouring of support, suggesting that misinformation and so-called "astroturfing" efforts might be behind some of it.

He also said that the governor's veto would make it harder for families to save for college.

Scott hasn't passed all education bills this session.

"While there are small pockets of good policy hidden within this bill, it is a monstrosity when coupled with the multitude of bad policies that have been included", Farmer wrote in his letter to the governor. Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale.

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