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Politics

Rick Scott to Sign Controversial HB 7069 Into Law

June 15, 2017 - 11:00am
Rick Scott
Rick Scott

A controversial K-12 education bill is expected to become law Thursday after Gov. Rick Scott gave the legislation his blessing despite mixed reactions over whether or not the bill would truly be a boost to the state's public school students.

 Scott's office announced he would be signing HB 7069 at Morning Star Catholic School in Orlando Thursday afternoon.
 
The bill was a top priority for House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, but most public school officials vehemently opposed the measure. 
 
HB 7069 stirred up a storm of contention between traditional public school advocates and school choice supporters. The legislation was one of the biggest battles lawmakers duked out during the regular legislative session, just narrowly approved in the Senate by a vote of 20-18.
 
Supporters argued the bill was a necessary move to increase school-choice options. HB 7069 heavily favors charter schools and school choice for Florida students. 
 
Pushed into the bill was the $140 million "Schools of Hope" proposal, which would pump money into turning around failing public schools. There will also be a daily recess mandate for all public school students, except for charter schools which already have a numerical requirement for recess time.
 
The state’s Algebra II end-of-course exam will also be eliminated under HB 7069. 

HB 7069 will also expand the Gardiner Scholarship program by $30 million, which will provides more scholarships to children with special needs.

 
Mostly, the legislation -- and thus the public response -- pitted school choice activists against traditional public school supporters and officials, who worried the bill will funnel important funding away from schools and provide students with subpar classroom instruction as a result.
 
Groups in favor of the measure were quick to cheer Scott’s signature as a beacon of hope for the future of Florida’s students.
 
“We celebrate today alongside the parents, students, and families of Florida who believe, as we do, that every child deserves the opportunity to succeed academically. FCSBM collaborated with our friends in the legislature to support and provide input on the groundbreaking reform policies signed into law today, and we look forward to their successful implementation for the benefit of all students,” said Florida Coalition of School Board Members president Shawn Frost. 
 
Scott is expected to sign the bill after a contentious legislative session between the governor’s office and the Florida House, which sparred repeatedly over Scott’s top priorities, funding Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.
 
Corcoran and Scott, once bitter enemies, seemingly buried the hatchet before state legislators came back for a special session. The two reached a compromise to fully fund Visit Florida and to sign HB 7069 behind closed doors. 
 
Scott hasn’t passed all education bills this session. Senate President Joe Negron’s top priority to increase funding for the state’s higher education system received the royal red pen treatment on Wednesday when Scott vetoed a sweeping bill to pump millions of dollars into the state’s college and university system. 

 

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates. 

 

 

 Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.


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Comments

For profit charter schools do not take all the children just to "good ones" none of those "problem" poor students. I attended public schools and my wife taught at public schools for about five years before realizing that the her masters degree was worth only about $43k and year. Fair is the magic word in completion, which we both know that is not that case when it comes to charter schools vs public schools. Hopefully this will help the students but after my 45 years of living I doubt it.

Only Time will Tell. Using the Poor as an excuse to enrich the rich in the name of education may come back to bite use. A poor excuse to git rid of unions. I have no issues as long as those who are teaching meet the same requirement the Public School teacher have to meet. Why the Right is So Scare of Equality?

At a recent town hall meeting with congressman Rooney the outcry from teachers that beat up Betsy Devos was astounding and uncalled for. As a matter of fact the opposition group in attendance were there to disrupt and "not" listen to the freshman congressman. Kudos to the governor and legislature for passing HB 7069. The argument from public schools is nothing more that about "COMPETITION!" That is why they oppose charter schools because they will need to up their standard of teaching. So the next time you hear from the obstructionists "it's about the children" It's really about the money, benefits, and more importantly the competition they fear. Competition creates something known as "better results," not complacency. It provides the parents to have a say in the most important part of being a parent. Their children, and that child's education! Schools have become indoctrination centers for young skulls full of mush. Over the years, liberals have infested our education system with education material that is counterproductive to teaching our children about our country and the skills they will need to succeed in life. Just look around at some of the college aged young adults. Their idea of America, their ideas of their responsibilities for their contribution to society is deplorable. They feel they are owed something. They are owed nothing!!! That comes from the academia background they've been exposed to over the years and the influence of socialism. That is why this country is so divided today on healthcare, schooling, border control and what is is to be an American! Charter schools will give parents a choice. A good choice especially for the children that may not be financially able to attend a better school. That here in, lies the real agenda of the left. Molding, shaping, and misinforming the less fortunate in order to create a farm team of liberals. This kind of crap happens in places like China. In the USA its all under the guise of compassion, I feel your pain, it's for the children. The money that's been poured into our educational system over the years by the federal govt. to public schools tells me we should be graduating "Einsteins" every year! Public schools don't like being challenged by outside groups that allow the parents to make educational choices for their children. How parochial of the public school system is that! It's time for schools to compete! Its time for parents to stand up and be counted for their children's future. Become informed and get involved so you understand the real issues at hand and not some sound bite that you echo instead of delving into the real issue to make a sound decision. As a parent it's your responsibility. Its your responsibility not only to your children, its your responsibility to this great country making sure we stay great and not slither into a abyss of confusion like what almost happened over the past eight years. Many may not realize how close we came to transforming America into a country that you or "your" parent would not recognize. Stay informed.

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