FEA Weekly News Clips: January 16, 2018


Judge Rejects PBC School Board Request to Halt Payments to Charters
(Palm Beach Post)

A judge on Friday rejected the Palm Beach County School Board’s request to temporarily block a new state law requiring the school board to give an extra $9 million to the county’s charter schools by Feb. 1.

At a court hearing in Tallahassee, Leon County Circuit Judge James Shelfer denied the school board’s request, meaning that the board will have to distribute the money by next month, even as lawsuits over the law’s constitutionality play out, school district officials said.

The outcome was hailed as a victory by charter school leaders, who say they and their students deserve a share of the property tax revenue that the school board collects to pay for schools’ construction and maintenance.

The county has about 50 charter schools, which are privately managed but publicly financed, but officials say only about 33 are eligible for a share of the property tax money.

Tampa Bay Teachers Protest HB 7055
(Tampa Bay Times)

About 150 teachers from across the Tampa Bay region gathered Monday in Land O'Lakes, just up the street from House Speaker Richard Corcoran's district office, to protest Corcoran's priority education legislation.

Among other provisions, HB 7055 includes a proposal to decertify teacher bargaining units that do not have at least half of eligible employees as members.

At 198 pages long, the House version also includes a variety of other measures that teachers do not support, suggesting that the Legislature is trying to starve and privatize public education.

The Senate, which takes up the bill on Tuesday in its Education Committee, has put forth its own 115-page replacement amendment as the give and take between chambers begins. Teachers had hoped the Senate would kill the union certification piece, but so far it looks like that language could survive the committee.

Major Education Issues Hold Session Key
(The Gainesville Sun , Palm Beach Post)

TALLAHASSEE — Florida lawmakers will use the last three weeks of the 2018 session to decide the fate of a number of major education bills that address everything from school bullying to teachers to university tuition.

The decisions will begin unfolding Tuesday when the Senate Education Committee takes up a nearly 200-page bill (HB 7055) that is important to House leaders. The legislation includes provisions that are in more than a half-dozen other education bills pending in the Legislature.

Late Friday, Senate Education Chairwoman Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, filed a 115-page “strike all” amendment that would replace the House version of the bill with a Senate proposal.

It’s a sign of how Senate-House negotiations will begin on a bill that will be one of the keys to lawmakers reaching a series of agreements, including approval of a new $87 billion-plus budget, and ending the 2018 session on time March 9.

One New Member, Two Reappointed to State Board of Education (Tampa Bay Online)

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday announced the reappointments of Marva Johnson and Andy Tuck and the new appointment of Joe York to the State Board of Education.

Board chairwoman Johnson, of Winter Garden, and vice chair Tuck, of Sebring, are both 48 and have been reappointed for a term ending Dec. 31, 2021. York succeeds Rebecca Fishman-Lipsey for a term beginning Jan. 12, 2018 to December 31, 2020.

York, 49, of Ponte Vedra Beach, is the president of AT&T Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has a background in communications and legislative reform. He currently serves as the chairman of the Jacksonville Port Authority and was appointed on to the board by the governor in 2010.

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