Today's news -- June 6, 2017



Public school advocates concerned about charters *

Governor Rick Scott vetoed the education funding portion of the state budget last week, asking lawmakers to contribute more funding to public schools. Scott is asking for a $215 million boost to public school funding, which works out to about a $100 increase for each student. Public school advocates fear that even with an increase, public schools will not receive the same attention and support as charter schools. Scott and his staff spent two weeks behind closed doors hammering out a budget deal with the House. Schools will get $215 million more, and Scott will secure funding for his top priorities, Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida. Scott denies that part of the deal calls for him to sign a massive expansion of charter schools, but public school advocates are fearful. Florida Education Association President Joanne McCall says, "If we're all singing ‘Kumbaya’ at a press conference, then some deal has been cut somewhere along the way, and I believe the students, the public school students, are the pawns in that game.” The charter legislation would force public schools to share tax dollars for school construction and repair. The FEA says allowing the legislation to become law would harm public schools. "Charters were created originally to be a unique difference from the public schools, but now all they are parallel systems of competing for the same dollars,” says McCall.


Tallahassee gets special session, the public gets the bill * (Joanne McCall quoted)


Secret budget deal undermines education, public trust *

Florida once served as a national model for good government. These days, the state is more like a national joke. The budget deal that Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday is lousy in terms of substance and how the deal came about.

• It would give public schools some temporary operating cash, but poke a long-term hole in funds for construction and maintenance.

• It would give the governor an $85 million slush fund for economic development.

• It would come at the expense of state colleges and many worthy local projects.

The deal is the exclusive work of Scott, Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart; and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes. Each can claim victory as the state loses. The biggest problem is that Corcoran will also get his priority — House Bill 7069, the massive education package that school superintendents, school boards, the teachers' union and parents' groups want Scott to veto. Supposedly, the education bill isn't a done deal. The governor refused to say Friday whether he would sign it. But Floridians are smarter than that. They know Corcoran would never bend so far on economic incentives without securing a promise for his pet priority. Plus, he said: "I've never known the governor not to be a man of his word." How bad is HB 7069? Palm Beach County School Superintendent Robert Avossa told the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board, "It's the single largest piece of legislation to dismantle public education that I've ever seen." For the first time, charter schools would get a share of property tax revenue that school districts use for construction and maintenance. It would give for-profit charter companies public money for buildings the public would not own. Avossa believes that would be unconstitutional. We agree. The Palm Beach County district expects to lose $230 million over 10 years, a figure that could rise if the giveaway draws even more charter operators. Broward County expects to lose $300 million over 10 years.


Lawmaker files bill detailing student funding for special session


Scott vetoes school uniforms money in Florida budget


The Silicon Valley billionaires remaking America’s schools

In the space of just a few years, technology giants have begun remaking the very nature of schooling on a vast scale, using some of the same techniques that have made their companies linchpins of the American economy. Through their philanthropy, they are influencing the subjects that schools teach, the classroom tools that teachers choose and fundamental approaches to learning. The involvement by some of the wealthiest and most influential titans of the 21st century amounts to a singular experiment in education, with millions of students serving as de facto beta testers for their ideas. Some tech leaders believe that applying an engineering mind-set can improve just about any system, and that their business acumen qualifies them to rethink American education. But the philanthropic efforts are taking hold so rapidly that there has been little public scrutiny.


The demolition of American education

We have a budget for federal education policy that swings a mighty scythe, mostly at programs that serve middle-income and low-income students. Its major innovation is a proven failure. DeVos has no ideas about helping or improving public schools. Her only idea is choice. But we already know how that will turn out.


FTC shuts down Boca Raton student loan relief operation


New bill gives governor $85 million grant fund with few strings attached


Visit Florida to use donated billboards to battle budget cut


Senate budget bills, Stand Your Ground change among 24 proposals sent to Scott


Let constitution panel stay in Sunshine


State should not face storm season without new leaders at NOAA, FEMA


“Progress” on getting marijuana in Special Session but “no deal” yet


Dew named secretary of state Department of Transportation


Heed voters' will on Florida land conservation


Under Trump, worker protections are viewed with new skepticism


Trump backs air traffic control privatization


Why Trump's plan to privatize air traffic control could end up costing more


Nelson will fight Trump over air traffic control privatization


New high court challenge to labor unions


Hundreds of Walmart employees say they've been punished for taking sick days


Top-secret report details Russian hacking effort days before 2016 election


Intelligence contractor is charged in first leak case under Trump


Trump will not block Comey from testifying, White House says


Does Trump have the power to block Comey from testifying? Probably not.


Conservatives torch Comey’s credibility ahead of Senate hearing


Mueller’s team brings storied prosecution pedigrees


Kasowitz, “toughest of the tough guys,” stands beside Trump


Trump promotes original “travel ban,” eroding his legal case


Trump’s fight with London mayor baffles his critics


“Kill them all,” GOP rep says of “radicalized Islamic suspects” after London attacks


Trump grows discontented with Sessions


For undocumented mom, somewhere to shelter, but nowhere to run


A Texas border city is leading the charge against the state’s immigration crackdown


What we lose by barring refugees


Senate GOP aims for June vote on Obamacare repeal


Mast defends health care vote, Trump at town hall


Trump's legislative director acknowledges Russia is overwhelming his agenda


In Trump’s White House, everything’s coming in “two weeks”


The legal profession is failing low-income and middle-class people


Supreme Court rules to limit SEC power to recover profit from fraud


Poll: Nearly six in ten oppose Trump scrapping Paris agreement


In withdrawal from climate agreement, the Koch brothers’ campaign becomes overt


Trump thinks weather and climate are unpredictable. He’s overdue for a briefing.


EPA chief exaggerates growth of coal jobs by tens of thousands


Climate change progress at Trump's EPA is grinding to a halt, workers reveal


If Trump won’t lead on climate change, everyone else will have to work around him


China looks to capitalize on clean energy as U.S. retreats


Solar’s rise lifted these blue-collar workers. Now they’re worried about Trump.


A clinical fact check on Trump


Our president is simply unpresidented


The lawless presidency


Democrats step up demands for Trump hotel records


Trump Organization to go budget friendly with “American Idea” hotel chain


Saudis spent $270,000 at Trump hotel in lobbying campaign against 9/11 bill


Kushner companies seeking $250 million to pay off Chinese backers


How did “witch hunt” become the complaint of the powerful?


 1 user(s) rated this page
Login to leave a comment
No Comments yet