Today's news -- June 20, 2017

 

 

 

 

Should education dollars follow students or the system?

As Gov. Rick Scott took the podium last week to announce his support for the Legislature's big education bill, he used words that have become increasingly familiar to Floridians, speaking of the need to "help all students." Senate President Joe Negron quickly followed suit, adding the newest catch phrase that state dollars should "follow the student" — regardless of whether parents pick "a traditional public school, a public charter, an independent school or homeschool." The idea, building in Florida for years, ties into the Trump administration's push to vastly expand family options. And to the most ardent school choice backers, it's a way to break down what some see as a public school system that has become stale and dated. However, the push to have more money "follow the student" is raising hackles among Floridians who suggest the concept violates the state Constitution and a 2006 court precedent that outlawed a plan to give parents state vouchers they could use for private school tuition. Both speak directly of a "uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high-quality system of free public schools that allows student to obtain a high quality education." The state is legally required "to fund a system, not the children," said Tallahassee lawyer Ron Meyer, who represented families who fought the state's voucher system. "I don't know how the Constitution and the court could be any clearer." Meyer viewed the push to have education funds follow individual children as ripe for a challenge. So, too, does House Speaker Richard Corcoran — but from a different perspective. He wants to prevent a challenge. Corcoran acknowledged the long-term goal is to "empower all parents to have the purchasing power to decide" how and where to get their children a "world-class education." He even suggested that the education bill's mandate requiring public schools to share maintenance and construction money with charters is a better approach to providing the required system of free public schools, and perhaps more in keeping with the Constitution. His rationale: Charters are public schools, too, although they operate under different rules and requirements. But Bush vs. Holmes, the 2006 case that prevented vouchers, could create a wrinkle in future attempts to expand the "follow-the-student" philosophy, Corcoran said. The state Supreme Court ruled in that case against diverting public dollars into "separate private systems parallel to and in competition with the free public schools," which the court pointedly noted are "the sole means set out in the Constitution for the state to provide for the education of Florida's children." Corcoran said the Constitution Revision Commission, to which he has appointed nine members, will "definitely be looking for a way to make it clearer what can and can't be done for public education." The commission, which gathers every 20 years, is spending a year coming up with possible constitutional amendments that voters will consider in 2018. It already has conducted several public hearings. Collier County School Board member Erika Donalds, the only local school district representative on the commission, signaled her willingness to carry the torch for Corcoran. The founder of a charter school, Donalds said she saw the value in a competitive school marketplace, where parents are free to apply their share of state funding where they expect to get the best education for their children. It's had an effect already, she suggested. The charter school movement has led families away from their traditional public schools, and districts are changing to compete, she observed. The same dynamic is taking hold in the state's Voluntary Prekindergarten program, and with the McKay and Gardiner scholarships for students with special needs and disabilities. "The only way to continue that is to allow the money to follow the students," Donalds said. State Sen. David Simmons, chairman of the Senate PreK-12 Appropriations Committee, suggested that many of the changes in the education bill (HB 7069) do not directly fund students, despite the rhetoric. He noted that a proposal to change the way Title I federal funds are distributed, for example, is based on type of school rather than attached to individual students. The same holds true for maintenance and construction, Simmons said, even though the money would be allocated on a per-student basis. That's OK, he contended, because state education funding law has long been based on per-student costs. The state does so to create equity among rich and poor districts, which otherwise might see vast discrepancies in their ability to collect revenue. But that system for distributing education money is based on a much broader set of calculations than just a per-student, amount, noted University of Florida law professor Jon Mills, who has fought school funding lawsuits and also chaired a past Constitution Revision Commission. Teacher salaries, academic programs and other factors within a school also affect how much money really gets spent per student, he explained. "What amount, really, are you going to have follow the child?" asked Kathleen Oropeza, an Orange County parent who sued the state over its funding formula, with Mills as one of the attorneys. Regardless, Mills suggested, the key question is not the amount but the purpose. "If you just said, 'Let the money follow the students,' and that would allow students to go to a private school, that's what Bush vs. Holmes said you couldn't do," he said. "Because that means we are funding private schools." If that's so, Meyer said, the next issue becomes who, if anyone, might complain. A legislative action remains constitutional until a court says it's not, he said, and the courts lately have shut down groups that have challenged programs such as tax credit scholarships, saying they don't have standing to sue. Oropeza worried that many Floridians haven't even noticed the shift in education funding, as it has occurred incrementally over two decades. "It goes under the radar with most people," she said. But "we've gotten to a place where it can't be denied what is happening."

http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/the-big-debate-continues-should-florida-education-dollars-follow-students/2327758

 

Public school advocates may pursue legal challenge of HB 7069 (Joanne McCall quoted)
http://thecapitolist.com/public-school-advocates-may-pursue-legal-challenge-of-hb-7069/

 

What's missing from Florida HB 7069?

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/whats-missing-from-florida-hb-7069/2327778

 

New bill devastates public schools (by Karla Hernandez-Mats)
http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article157063834.html

 

Corcoran did more than change Florida education (Joanne McCall quoted)
http://saintpetersblog.com/joe-henderson-richard-corcoran-change-florida-education-whipped-teachers-union/

 

Corcoran to Hillsborough: Stop blaming the Legislature while you waste money

http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/speaker-richard-corcoran-to-hillsborough-schools-stop-blaming-the/2327807?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

 

Charter school founder accused of theft, misuse of school money

http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/prosecutors-businessman-diverted-education-money-meant-for-pinellas/2327828

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/education/2017-06-19/charter-school-founder-accused-theft-use-school-money-world-trips

http://www.pnj.com/story/news/2017/06/19/newpoint-education-partners-owner-faces-criminal-charges/409053001/

 

State DOE looks at changing alternative high school reading, algebra tests

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/florida-education-department-looks-at-changing-alternative-high-school/2327735

 

Not every Florida school district has district-created final exams

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/not-every-florida-school-district-has-district-created-final-exams/2327751

 

Reports promoting school choice offer little guidance for policymakers

http://www.greatlakescenter.org/docs/Think_Twice/TT-Holme-Choice.htm

 

Rethinking the parent-teacher conference: Meeting more often, working as a team

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/rethinking-the-parent-teacher-conference-meeting-more-often-working-as-a-team/2017/06/18/b62ff174-4c56-11e7-bc1b-fddbd8359dee_story.html?utm_term=.d32411ffb8bb

 

Dallas schools, long segregated, charge forward on diversity

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/us/dallas-schools-desegregation.html?emc=edit_th_20170620&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

 

Scott signs bill allowing FAMU, UF to begin industrial hemp research http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2017/06/19/gov-scott-signs-bill-allowing-florida-a-m-uf-begin-industrial-hemp-research/409133001/

 

Florida arts and culture industry grows by $1.58 billion

http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2017/06/19/florida-arts-and-culture-industry-grows-1-58-billion/408396001/

 

Scott returns to Connecticut, looking to bring jobs south

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/rick-scott-returns-to-connecticut-looking-to-poach-states-jobs/2327741?utm_source=TBT_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DAILY%20BUZZ_Clone%20before%20using&utm_email=6575d82b873cf5ef9faac9fbc241bd1f

http://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2017/06/19/scott-renews-job-poaching-trips-in-dga-chairs-backyard-112891

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/hc-gov-scott-visits-connecticut-20170619-story.html

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article156948954.html

 

Flood insurance plans unite Rubio, Warren, but upset state agents

http://protectingyourpocket.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2017/06/19/flood-insurance-plans-unite-rubio-warren-but-upset-fla-agents/

 

Harsher penalties for shoplifters than for employers stealing wages

http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2017-06-19/livable-wages-working-families/harsher-penalties-for-shoplifters-than-for-employers-stealing-wages/a58177-1

 

The “alt-labor” leader fighting for fair pay for restaurant workers

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-19/saru-jayaraman-the-alt-labor-leader-fighting-for-fair-pay-for-restaurant-workers

 

Poverty really is the result of a state of mind — among rich people

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/06/20/poverty-really-is-the-result-of-a-state-of-mind-among-rich-people/?utm_term=.a7c687a704aa

 

Trump team’s spin about the Russia probe sinks deeper into absurdity

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/06/19/the-trump-teams-spin-about-the-russia-probe-sinks-deeper-into-absurdity/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.791e97bcfbca

 

Senate judiciary probe may review obstruction of justice

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/19/politics/senate-judiciary-committee-investigation/index.html

 

Senior House Democrats press Flynn for information on trips to Mideast

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senior-house-democrats-press-michael-flynn-for-information-on-trips-to-middle-east/2017/06/19/21878ab6-5532-11e7-b38e-35fd8e0c288f_story.html?utm_term=.5deb4468f259

 

Mueller team lawyer brings witness-flipping expertise to Trump probes

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-lawyers-idUSKBN19A1CM

 

Mueller terrifies Trump. Of course he wants him gone.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/06/20/robert-mueller-needs-to-stay-sort-out-russia-mess-richard-painter-norman-eisen-column/103011308/

 

For new Trump lawyer, public stumble is out of character

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/us/politics/jay-sekulow-trump-lawyer.html?emc=edit_th_20170620&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

 

At height of Russia tensions, Manafort met with business associate from Ukraine

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/at-height-of-russia-tensions-trump-campaign-chairman-manafort-met-with-business-associate-from-ukraine/2017/06/18/6ab8485c-4c5d-11e7-a186-60c031eab644_story.html?utm_term=.2b4b2a2e2d6f

 

How an entire nation became Russia's test lab for cyberwar

https://www.wired.com/story/russian-hackers-attack-ukraine

 

Senate is close to a health care bill, but do Republicans have the votes?

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/19/us/where-senators-stand-on-health-care.html?emc=edit_cn_20170620&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/19/sources-senate-gop-prepared-for-obamacare-repeal-vote-next-week-239726

 

Senate Democrats intensify criticism of emerging GOP health bill

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senate-democrats-plan-to-intensify-criticism-against-emerging-gop-health-bill/2017/06/19/6f1d3d66-5500-11e7-ba90-f5875b7d1876_story.html?utm_term=.ed93f24794bf

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/us/politics/health-care-senate.html?emc=edit_th_20170620&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/19/obamacare-senate-democrats-obstruction-239734

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/19/democrats-stop-senate-business-obamacare-239715

 

GOP senator warns against rushed vote on health care bill

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/gop-senator-warns-rushed-vote-health-care-bill-48118832?cid=social_twitter_abcnp

 

The real reason the GOP can’t answer simple questions about its healthcare plan

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/20/15821016/republicans-health-care-bill-questions

 

Obamacare repeal could cost Florida 83,000 jobs, cut $8.6 billion from economy

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/obamacare-repeal-bill-would-cost-florida-83000-jobs-cut-86-billion-from-economy-ahca-study-warns-9426646

 

The Senate’s health care secrecy is a breathtaking contempt for democracy

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/06/the_senate_s_health_care_secrecy_will_hurt_millions.html

 

Expose stealth Trumpcare law to sunshine

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/editorials/fl-op-marco-rubio-health-care-law-20170619-story.html

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/ruth-too-much-secrecy-in-senates-health-care-talks/2327775

 

These are the people at the mercy of Trump's healthcare bill

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/20/people-indiana-republican-healthcare-bill-insurance?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=231526&subid=7590566&CMP=GT_US_collection

 

CBO head, who prizes nonpartisanship, finds work under GOP attack

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/us/politics/cbo-congressional-budgt-office.html?em_pos=large&emc=edit_cn_20170620&nl=first-draft&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

Justices to hear major challenge to partisan gerrymandering

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/us/politics/justices-to-hear-major-challenge-to-partisan-gerrymandering.html?emc=edit_cn_20170620&nl=first-draft&nlid=3179832&te=1

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-to-hear-potentially-landmark-case-on-partisan-gerrymandering/2017/06/19/d525237e-5435-11e7-b38e-35fd8e0c288f_story.html?utm_term=.7a5c8ae4c590

 

GOP data firm accidentally leaks info on nearly 200 million voters

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/06/19/republican-contractor-database-every-voter-exposed-internet-12-days-researcher-says/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.55a4b633c1e9

http://gizmodo.com/gop-data-firm-accidentally-leaks-personal-details-of-ne-1796211612

https://thinkprogress.org/rnc-contractor-exposes-200-million-voters-data-6329b1783540

 

Florida voter-registration firm denies it got hacked

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/political-pulse/os-of-florida-elections-hacked-20170619-story.html

 

Justices strike down law banning disparaging trademarks

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/us/politics/supreme-court-trademarks-redskins.html?emc=edit_cn_20170620&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/19/supreme-court-rules-slants-case-239711

 

Free speech at the Supreme Court

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/opinion/supreme-court-free-speech-gerrymandering.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_ty_20170620&nl=opinion-today&nl_art=0&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

Judge narrows injunction on Trump travel ban

http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/06/19/judge-trump-travel-ban-239738

 

In rural America, fewer immigrants and less tolerance

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/in-rural-america-fewer-immigrants-and-less-tolerance/2017/06/16/7b448454-4d1d-11e7-bc1b-fddbd8359dee_story.html?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.f84ef0eeafcc

 

Rural Americans’ views often set apart by race

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/differences-in-black-and-white-rural-americans-views-often-set-apart-by-race/2017/06/16/9e3b8164-47c9-11e7-a196-a1bb629f64cb_story.html?utm_term=.279d6bec16c8

 

State Department just broke a promise to minority and female recruits

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/the-state-department-just-broke-a-promise-to-minority-and-female-recruits/2017/06/18/cd1f9d44-52b9-11e7-b064-828ba60fbb98_story.html?utm_term=.5ece98ce1da7

 

Ryan looking to rekindle tax reform flame

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/us/politics/tax-code-paul-ryan-republicans.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170620&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/20/ryan-looking-to-rekindle-tax-reform-flame-239739

 

Perry just denied that humans are the main cause of climate change

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/06/19/trumps-energy-secretary-just-denied-that-man-made-carbon-dioxide-is-the-main-driver-for-climate-change/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.711a78729b2d

 

Russia warns U.S. after downing of Syrian warplane

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/world/middleeast/russia-syria.html?hp=&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&smid=tw-nytpolitics&smtyp=cur

 

Kushner is about to plunge into Mideast diplomacy

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/us/politics/jared-kushner-mideast-diplomacy.html

 

Poll: Few favor Trump move to ditch Paris accord

https://apnews.com/0b58728504d94e5c9ec366d3e35e7118

 

Poll shows Florida voters don’t see new rules improving life for Cubans
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-reg-trump-cuba-florida-poll-20170619-story.html

 

World leaders wary of Trump may have an ally: Congress

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/us/politics/world-leaders-wary-of-trump-may-have-an-ally-congress.html?emc=edit_cn_20170620&nl=first-draft&nlid=3179832&te=1

 

Under Trump, public business increasingly handled behind closed doors

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-trumps-washington-public-business-increasingly-handled-behind-closed-doors/2017/06/19/29f9047c-54fb-11e7-ba90-f5875b7d1876_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_secrecy-743pm:homepage/story&utm_term=.6779f9bd44e4

 

The destruction of political norms started decades ago

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-destruction-of-political-norms-started-decades-ago-heres-how-it-happened/2017/06/18/0a963bf6-52d3-11e7-91eb-9611861a988f_story.html?utm_term=.f1380f5b26f3&wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

 

If liberals voted ...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/opinion/voter-turnout-democrats-republicans.html?emc=edit_ty_20170620&nl=opinion-today&nlid=3179832&te=1

 

Mar-a-Lago proving profitable for President Trump

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/mar-a-lago-proving-profitable-for-president-trump/2327760

 

How Trump is using his vineyards to scam America
https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/06/spill-the-wine-how-trump-is-using-his-vineyards-to.html

 

 

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