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Weatherford’s “massive expansion” of school choice faces double-trouble

by John Kennedy | March 25th, 2014

The Florida Senate dealt House Speaker Will Weatherford another setback Tuesday, dramatically scaling-back legislation aimed at fostering the growth of more charter schools in the state.

The action by the Senate Education Committee came only days after senators withdrew plans to consider a bill eventually doubling the 60,000 students now receiving taxpayer-funded private school vouchers in Florida.

Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, promised a “massive expansion” of school choice by lawmakers this spring. But with lawmakers nearing the midpoint of the two-month session, the choice push has gotten beat back – at the hands of fellow Republicans in the Senate.

“This is a plan that is just not yet ready for prime time,” said Education Committee Chairman John Legg, R-Trinity, who said that he is a “charter fan.”

Legg is business manager for a charter school co-founded by his wife. But he said the House-backed proposal favored by charter school advocates went too far.

The legislation backed by charter advocates would have required school districts statewide to use a standard contract that would apply to all charter school governing boards. Districts also would be required to make available under-used buildings and classrooms for lease to charter operators.

Also, the pro-charter proposal would make it easier for “high-performing” charter school companies operating out-of-state to enter the Florida market and expand at-will once they are here.

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2 Responses to “Weatherford’s “massive expansion” of school choice faces double-trouble”

  1. Jupiter Guy Says:

    Why isn’t he doing more for public schools you ask? Because he is a stock holder in the charter schools.

  2. Manuel Cambó Says:

    The Republicans senators like legg galvano ditert gaetz are tone deft on what is ailing our public schools. Neither of you show leadership but rather are pandering. The public school system has failed by any measure. Testing is not the answer nor is the funding increase if not directly to building new schools on every corner. The problem is overcrowding across the board and the dilapidated conditions of most schools in Florida. The answer is to allow parents to act guardians over school budgets one by one. Together we will fix a half century of failure. Students not proficient in Math holding a high school diploma but can not make it a the college level explains the high unemployment not the economy. Jobs available today requires Witt during the interviews and apititude not ability to do well on standardized test. How about speed reading skills for starters. amend the Parent trigger law 1002.33 3(b). allow parents the open debate on schools grounds , budget disclosure of a school and access to student mailing list and weekly student communicators. Eliminate the veto power of teacher vote by quorum. Then call the vote! Parental Governing schools on district run property are the answer and will open the door massive opportunity grants from corporate America sponsoring entire schools instead one student. GOP your door is closing you are wasting opportunity following two superintendents (Montford and Geatz) to slaughter. School choice based in voucher is cute but it is a is slow boat to china. They are dominating and overwhelming attending our universities. Put it on overdrive your majority will not last forever. Apply your principles to your circumstances.

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