Solutions that don’t break the bank, reinvent the wheel or marginalize our teachers are within our grasp. We could have rigorous classes, safe and disciplined schools and treat teachers like valued colleagues rather than easily replaceable cogs, and we could do so tomorrow if we wanted. Disclaimer, this is an opinion and commentary site and should not be confused as a news site, and you should know that quite often people may disagree with the opinions posted herein.
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Saturday, October 6, 2012
Religious freedom or public school privatization?
Kim Slote, Naples
No on 8
As the mother of two children in the Collier County public school system, I urge you to vote "no'' on Amendment 8 on Nov 6.
This constitutional amendment is not about religious freedom, despite what its misleading title says. This amendment is about is public, taxpayer funding going to support religious organizations. If passed, any religious group or sect would be able to use public funds to fund its own religious school.
As a taxpayer, this worries me greatly. I believe that religiously affiliated (parochial) schools should be funded by members or parishioners of that religion, not by taxpayers. And I believe that our public schools cannot afford to have funding taken away from them – public schools are already struggling financially to provide the best education possible to the children of our state.
The Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy recently concluded that this amendment could cost our public schools $3.7 billion to $6.5 billion over the next five years. This is why the Florida School Boards Association, the Florida Education Association and the Florida Parent Teacher Association have all stated their opposition to Amendment 8.