Today's news -- June 14, 2017

 

 

 

Teachers protest education bill at Scott rally *

During his Tuesday visit to Angie’s Subs in Jacksonville Beach, Gov. Rick Scott was greeted by nearly 200 teachers and demonstrators protesting a controversial education bill that they warn will imperil public schools. “Gov. Scott, don’t sign that line. Veto 7069,” protesters lined up on the sidewalk along Beach Boulevard chanted as the governor spoke to a crowd gathered inside the popular sandwich shop. Among other things, the wide-ranging bill would make it easier for charter schools to move into neighborhoods with academically struggling schools, as well allow charter schools to tap local property tax dollars for school construction. Toting a sign depicting a thumbs down, Sumter County kindergarten teacher Kathy Tragesser spoke out against part of the bill that she said lets charter schools tap into federal funding traditionally reserved for schools in impoverished areas. “This bill would funnel money from Title I schools into charter schools, which would be very detrimental to every child in our county because then we won’t have the funds to buy their textbooks and other supplies they need,” said Tragresser. Standing alongside Tragesser was Twila Haeser, a first-grade teacher also from Sumter County, who said she also teaches adult education at night to make ends meet. She voiced her opposition to a provision that threatens teachers’ job security. “Part of what this bill is doing is taking brand new teachers — and we already don’t have enough teachers — and it’s telling them, ‘Even if you get a good review, we’re not going to allow them to guarantee you a job,’” said Haeser. “You can’t compete with other states that are able to offer continuing contracts, so we don’t get highly qualified teachers. We get teachers that are willing to work without the guarantee of a job,” she said. The rally was led by Joanne McCall, president of the Florida Education Association, who said they were at Sawgrass for an annual summit when they heard Scott would be in town and decided to organize a demonstration on the fly. So they threw some signs together, rented three buses and zipped over to Angie’s. She said the measure allows for charter schools to operate with zero accountability, hire uncertified teachers, consume federal funding for needy schools and dip into construction funding as public schools fall into disrepair. “We educate 2.8 million public school students across the state,” said McCall, who described the bill as a last-minute blend of good and bad legislation. “There are 256,000 kids in charter schools. If parents want to have their kids in charter schools, that’s their right. But it shouldn’t be at the expense of our public schools.” Inside the restaurant, the governor acknowledged the crowd gathered outside, lauding them for their passion, but he declined to say whether he would sign or veto the bill. “I’m reviewing the bill,” he said. “I’m going to act in the best interest of students in our state.” Tuesday night’s event in Jacksonville Beach was the last in a daylong series of appearances by Scott scheduled around the state to highlight issues addressed during last week’s special legislative session, including funding for schools, tourism marketing and repairs to the dike around Lake Okeechobee. McCall, meanwhile, had a warning for Scott should he sign the measure into law. “He should know that we’re not going to shut up about it, that we’re going to keep talking about it. Because this governor has his eye on being the next senator from Florida and we will not forget that.”

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/education/2017-06-13/teachers-protest-education-bill-scott-rally

"It's going to harm our public schools and it's going to harm our children," Kenny Minchew, a Broward County teacher. "It's just a money grab for charter schools. It's not about educating the students. Charter schools aren't any better than public schools." "The charter schools can come in and overtake D and F schools. They can come in and open up right across the street from a public school and not pay any attention to zoning rules or laws. They don't have to follow any of that," said Joanne McCall, president of the Florida Education Association. "If you're going to take that money away from the kids that need it most to give to profit charters, that's not right. We represent 2.8 million kids across the state. Charter schools represent 256,000. You do the math." "Children come from all walks of life and have different needs. We're not cookie cutters. Each child learns differently," Minchew said. "Using test scores as a way to justify charter schools is evil."

http://www.news4jax.com/news/dozens-show-up-asking-scott-to-veto-education-bill

Dixie County teacher Lindsey Whittington, also chanting outside the shop, said her main worry is funding for children living in poverty. “Dixie County Is predominately low-income so the Title I funding is a big concern to my school,” she said. After Scott spoke about the special session, FEA President Joanne McCall shook his hand and asked him to kill the legislation. “We really need a veto on that bill because the 2.8 million kids across the state deserve that,” she said.

http://news.wjct.org/post/hundreds-jacksonville-protest-education-bill-during-gov-scott-visit

 

Will HB 7069 draw a legal challenge?

With Gov. Rick Scott expected to sign the controversial charter-school friendly bill  that has incited a groundswell of criticism, opponents are mounting a last minute effort to lay the groundwork for a legal challenge or legislative retooling of HB 7069. In a letter to the governor on Tuesday, Sen. Gary Farmer, a freshman Democrat from Lighthouse Point, urged the governor to veto the bill because it would "dramatically reduce the ability of school districts across the state to devote resources towards improving our public education" as well as allowing private management companies to profit off taxpayer dollars, and local communities to be cut out of zoning decisions relating to schools. Download SenatorFarmerLetterRe7069  But Farmer, a lawyer, also outlined his case -- for why he believes it could be challenged on the grounds that it passed illegally -- and in violation of the Senate rules and may be ripe for a legal challenge. "I do intend to look into it,'' Farmer said. “Process is supposed to matter. There are supposed to be boundaries and limitations so everybody is on equal footing. When we don't follow the rules, it erodes and denigrates the process." For example, he said, HB 7069 morphed from a six-page bill "which dealt entirely with the Best and Brightest Scholarship Program" to a 278-page amendment" that included provisions that were the subject of 55 other bills "the vast majority of which either had been voted down in committee or had stalled." In a lengthy point of order on the Senate floor on May 8, Farmer noted that the conference committee on May 5, the last scheduled day of session, between House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron settled up the final budget package but the final wording of HB 7069 was rolled out two hours after they had met at the conference. At that meeting, Corcoran and Negron did not take a vote on the final budget agreement, except to announce that the agreement was made. Although most of the bills’ provisions had been discussed at least conceptually by one of the chambers, not all of them had. The concept of the “Schools of Hope” was only discussed for only 90 minutes in the Senate prior to the final passage. An analysis of HB 7069 also found that HB 7069 not only included language from 55 bills but also from bills never before discussed or considered publicly and — in one case — a bill that was defeated by a Senate committee.

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/with-expected-signing-of-hb-7069-will-it-draw-legal-challenge/2327134

 

Scott and Corcoran take “victory tour” ripe with political meaning

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/legislature/truce-rick-scott-and-richard-corcoran-take-a-victory-tour-ripe-with/2327103

http://amp.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article155918169.html

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/school-zone/os-education-bill-7069-charters-testing-schools-20170613-story.html

http://postonpolitics.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2017/06/13/today-gov-rick-scott-house-speaker-corcoran-celebrate-in-west-palm-beach/

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/240006-amid-continued-calls-veto-hb-7069-rick-scott-says-still-reviewing

 

Central Florida school districts ask Scott to veto education bill

http://www.clickorlando.com/education/school-districts-slam-florida-education-bill

 

Public school backers urge Scott to veto bill helping charter schools

http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/public-school-backers-urge-scott-veto-bill-helping-charter-schools/KzxNTn8SX5t6mWMGWtXfHM/

 

Gillum takes a swipe at Scott’s “victory tour”

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/239979-andrew-gillum-victory-tour

 

Duval Board plans to tap reserves to cope with lower than expected state funding

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/education/2017-06-13/duval-board-plans-tap-reserves-cope-lower-expected-state-funding

http://news.wjct.org/post/duval-school-district-facing-more-budgeting-challenges-amid-uncertainty-over-state-funding

 

Officials say Polk schools still strapped for cash

http://www.theledger.com/news/20170613/officials-say-polk-schools-still-strapped-for-cash

 

Manatee School Board bullish on special election to raise property taxes

http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/education/article156003244.html

Hillsborough School Board: The who, the where, the why, and who's upset about it (Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins quoted)
http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/the-who-the-where-the-why-and-whos-upset-about-it/2327203

 

Ruling against Indian River district could mean $2 million windfall for charters

http://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/education/2017/06/13/judge-rules/392545001/

 

Teacher takes state DOE to court over failed scores on teacher test

http://www.wptv.com/news/local-news/investigations/fl-teacher-takes-state-dept-of-education-to-court-over-failed-scores-on-teacher-test

 

Lawsuit over police search of hundreds of students raises constitutional questions

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/us/georgia-police-patdown-students.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170613&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Charter school founded by DeVos family reflects national tensions

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/us/politics/betsy-devos-west-michigan-aviation-academy.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170614&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

For children with autism, no more being hushed

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/nyregion/for-children-with-autism-no-more-being-hushed.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170614&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Zero tolerance policies don’t prevent violence at schools

https://thinkprogress.org/amp/p/ff625c4ab7df

 

Quite the secrecy in Tallahassee

http://www.ocala.com/opinion/20170614/editorial-quite-secrecy-in-tallahassee

 

Crist: Restore rights to Florida felons; they’ve paid debt to society

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-ed-charlie-crist-restore-felon-rights-in-florida-front-burner-20170613-story.html

 

Audit finds understaffing and lax control of medication at state mental hospitals

http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20170613/audit-finds-understaffing-and-lax-control-of-medication-at-state-mental-hospitals

 

Amid state’s “water wars” legal battle, Scott makes $1 million investment in Atlanta

http://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2017/06/12/scotts-water-wars-strategy-could-have-impacted-his-12m-investment-112684

 

Sessions denies collusion, deploring “detestable lie” in Senate testimony

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/us/politics/jeff-sessions-senate-trump.html?emc=edit_th_20170614&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

 

Sessions finds a shield in executive privilege -- but it might not be a strong one

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/jeff-sessions-finds-a-shield-in-executive-privilege--but-it-might-not-be-a-strong-one/2017/06/13/977677ce-5077-11e7-be25-3a519335381c_story.html?utm_term=.15af0b4d070d

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/06/06/does-trump-have-the-power-to-block-comey-from-testifying-probably-not/?utm_term=.6ff54b3d027d

 

Sessions wants you to distinguish between his roles as senator and surrogate

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/06/13/jeff-sessions-wants-you-to-do-what-he-wouldnt-distinguish-between-his-roles-as-senator-and-surrogate/?utm_term=.bcb24896d9e6

 

Sessions clams up in Congress

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/opinion/jeff-sessions-clams-up-in-congress.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_ty_20170614&nl=opinion-today&nl_art=0&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

Sessions gives a master class in dissembling

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/opinion/jeff-sessions-gives-a-master-class-in-dissembling.html?emc=edit_th_20170614&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

 

Takeaways from Sessions' Russia testimony

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/06/13/4-takeaways-from-jeff-sessionss-feisty-testimony-to-congress-about-russia/?utm_term=.0488cb1fa23e

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/13/sessions-senate-testimony-russia-trump-239524

 

Trump stews, staff steps in, and Mueller is safe for now

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/us/politics/robert-mueller-special-counsel-trump.html?src=twr

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/will-trump-fire-mueller-a-friend-says-maybe--but-washington-warns-against-it/2017/06/13/1409e3ca-504b-11e7-b064-828ba60fbb98_story.html?utm_term=.8e932cafc2ed

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-firing-the-special-counsel-would-be-disastrous/2017/06/13/ce7d5966-5051-11e7-be25-3a519335381c_story.html?utm_term=.8c8b5858dd3f

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/by-firing-mueller-trump-would-make-a-stronger-case-that-he-is-obstructing-justice/2017/06/13/15c80dfe-5073-11e7-be25-3a519335381c_story.html?utm_term=.63d5089ce317

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/opinion/donald-trump-fire-robert-mueller.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_ty_20170614&nl=opinion-today&nl_art=9&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

Congress set to prod Trump, who denies Russia meddled, to punish Moscow

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/world/asia/trump-russia-sanctions-veto.html?emc=edit_th_20170614&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

 

House Russia probe gets more funding and staff

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/13/house-democrats-russia-investigation-funding-staff-239487

 

I worked on Clinton’s impeachment; charges against Trump are more serious.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/i-helped-draft-clintons-impeachment-articles-the-charges-against-trump-are-more-serious/2017/06/13/a15f819e-4fab-11e7-be25-3a519335381c_story.html?utm_term=.1670e53dcb0f

 

Explosive moments that could still come in Russia probe

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/14/trump-russia-probe-explosive-239525

 

Harris is (again) interrupted while pressing a Senate witness

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/us/politics/kamala-harris-interrupted-jeff-sessions.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170613&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/06/14/as-a-prosecutor-kamala-d-harris-doggedness-was-praised-now-shes-hysterical/?utm_term=.a96210df50b1&wpisrc=nl_mix&wpmm=1

 

What Republicans are doing while you’re distracted by Sessions and Comey

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-a-weapon-of-mass-distraction/2017/06/13/a10f651e-506f-11e7-be25-3a519335381c_story.html?utm_term=.098f106373a2

 

Trump, in zigzag, calls House Republicans’ health bill “mean”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/us/politics/trump-in-zigzag-calls-house-republicans-health-bill-mean.html?emc=edit_th_20170614&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/trump-calls-house-health-bill-that-he-celebrated-in-the-rose-garden-mean/2017/06/13/ede11784-5060-11e7-b064-828ba60fbb98_story.html?utm_term=.43a8ec86f267

 

How the Senate health-care bill will drop people with preexisting conditions

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/06/14/how-the-senate-health-care-bill-will-drop-people-with-preexisting-conditions/?utm_term=.b2ad8f9d24d7

 

The media’s missing the story

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/opinion/senate-health-care-bill.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170614&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Trump says market is failing, but one insurer bets big on Obamacare

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/upshot/trump-says-market-is-failing-but-one-insurer-bets-big-on-obamacare.html?emc=edit_cn_20170614&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

Big Pharma gives your doctor gifts. Then your doctor gives you Big Pharma’s drugs.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/big-pharma-gives-your-doctor-gifts-then-your-doctor-gives-you-big-pharmas-drugs/2017/06/13/5bc0b550-5045-11e7-b064-828ba60fbb98_story.html?utm_term=.eaa667241766

 

Internal House GOP budget feud threatens agenda

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/13/house-republicans-budget-feud-239486

 

Trump promotes job training, but critics say his budget will hurt

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-promotes-job-training-but-critics-say-his-budget-will-hurt-those-he-wants-to-help/2017/06/13/001757f0-504e-11e7-b064-828ba60fbb98_story.html?utm_term=.3bc6f9926668

 

Fact check: These statements by Trump’s Cabinet don’t match policy

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/us/politics/trump-cabinet-fact-check.html?em_pos=large&emc=edit_cn_20170614&nl=first-draft&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

ICE director to all undocumented immigrants: “You need to be worried”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ice-arrests-undocumented_us_594027c0e4b0e84514eebfbe?o88&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Morning%20Email%20061417&utm_content=The%20Morning%20Email%20061417+CID_275200978fc5132ee343688084f06df7&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=HuffPost&ncid=newsltushpmgnewsThe%20Morning%20Email%20061417

 

Trump’s move to deport Iraqi Christians stirs outcry

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/13/trump-deport-iraqi-christians-239511

 

Torture victim, expecting a U.S. handshake, was given handcuffs instead

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/us/asylum-torture-venezuela.html?_r=2

 

Trump wants to deny nursing-home residents and their families the right to sue

http://www.latimes.com/business/lazarus/la-fi-lazarus-nursing-home-arbitration-20170613-story,amp.html

 

Incarceration is skyrocketing in rural America

https://www.wired.com/story/why-incarceration-is-skyrocketing-in-rural-america/?ncid=newsltushpmgnewsThe%20Morning%20Email%20061417

 

Member of Congress shot at baseball field in Virginia

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/us/congress-shot-alexandria.html?emc=edit_na_20170614&nl=breaking-news&nlid=3179832&ref=cta

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/multiple-people-injured-after-shooting-in-alexandria/2017/06/14/0289c768-50f6-11e7-be25-3a519335381c_story.html?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.4366e6f92546

 

A beleaguered EPA has become ground zero in Trump's war on science

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-epa-trump-20170613-story.html

 

Will Sessions sink the VA’s interest in medical marijuana for vets?

http://taskandpurpose.com/jeff-sessions-shulkin-medical-marijuana-veterans/amp/

 

Trump’s war to “annihilate” ISIS is raising civilian casualties

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-isis-civilian-casualties_us_5939a2dfe4b0c5a35c9d76e5?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Morning%20Email%20061417&utm_content=The%20Morning%20Email%20061417+CID_275200978fc5132ee343688084f06df7&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=HuffPost&ncid=newsltushpmgnewsThe%20Morning%20Email%20061417

 

Trump gives Pentagon authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/world/asia/mattis-afghanistan-military.html?emc=edit_th_20170614&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/06/13/trump-gives-pentagon-authority-to-set-troop-levels-in-afghanistan/?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_usafghan1145pm:homepage/story&utm_term=.9c32c2aed25e

 

Trump advisers say he has a Cuba plan, but worry he’ll change his mind

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article155961849.html

 

Cuba, U.S. better off if their doors stay open

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article156052014.html

 

What will Trump's Cuba policy mean for business in South Florida? http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/news/2017/06/14/what-will-trumps-cuba-policy-mean-for-business-in.html

 

Senate narrowly backs Trump weapons sale to Saudi Arabia

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/world/middleeast/trump-weapons-saudi-arabia.html?emc=edit_cn_20170614&nl=first-draft&nlid=3179832&te=1

 

Nearly 200 Congressional Democrats file emoluments lawsuit against Trump

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congressional-democrats-to-file-emoluments-lawsuit-against-trump/2017/06/13/270e60e6-506d-11e7-be25-3a519335381c_story.html?utm_term=.d3d25c8cd6b0

 

Florida Democrats in Congress join suit against Trump

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/florida-democrats-in-congress-join-suit-against-trump/2327196

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/240031-congressional-democrats-incl-9-fla-sue-donald-trump-foreign-payments

 

Trump is ushering in a kleptocracy. That's why he is being sued.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/14/trump-ushering-kleptocracy-why-being-sued?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=230632&subid=7590566&CMP=GT_US_collection

 

Most Trump real estate now sold to secretive buyers

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/06/13/trump-property-buyers-make-clear-shift-secretive-llcs/102399558/

 

 

 

 

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