Rick Scott to Propose More School Choice, No Funding Cuts
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Gov. Rick Scott will head to Fort Myers on Thursday to introduce his education proposals for the next legislative session that grew out of meetings with parents, educators and students in September.
The education proposal, titled “College and Careers 1st," will focus on preparing students for college or a job out of high school, Scott said Tuesday.
The plan expands charter schooling options for districts, creates debt cards to help defer costs incurred by teachers, and would suspend new student testing that doesn’t meet Common Core State Standards that will be implemented in 2014.
“It reflects conversations I’ve had with students, parents, teachers, PTA, school board members, principals, teachers' unions, and it focuses on how we ensure that we get our kids ready for either college or a career,” Scott said.
The plan would include $2 million for professional training for educators; set aside money and seek public business and individual assistance to fund debt cards for teachers; and lifting the cap on enrollment for charter schools.
“It’s not an issue of choosing charter schools over traditional public schools, it’s the idea of let's create as much choice as we can because we’ve got great magnet schools, academies,” Scott said.
“And in the vein of creating more options, let’s allow school districts to do their own charters so we have more options for parents and students. It’s not picking one way of doing it, it’s just saying more options will have a better education system.”
Scott had previously supported many of the ideas, including setting funding at the least where it was bumped up $1 billion in the 2012 legislative session.
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