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Friday, June 16, 2017

How to fight back against House Bill 7069, it's not over yet.

Picture from Florida Politics

The first thing you can do is share this with every public-school teacher you know, every parent of a public-school student you know and everyone who you might even think cares about public education. We have to get the word out and a half dozen shares among likeminded people is not going to work. We need hundreds of people to share.

Then you can write a letter to your editor and it doesn’t have to be long either, just two hundred words or so and this bill is so bad letters practically write themselves. You can talk about.
-How the bill is filled with crony capitalism
                        -Obliterates home rule of school boards
                        -Sends hundreds of millions to for profit businesses
-Conflicts of interests as it was pushed and promoted by legislators who had direct or family ties to charter schools.
-It was crafted at the last minute, in secrecy and the public didn’t have an opportunity to weigh in
-It violates the singe subject rule and cobbles together dozens of different nominally related issues.
                        -It siphons away funds from already resource deprived schools
-It gives money to an industry that has already seen more than 350 charter schools open and close, leaving families and communities in a lurch
-How it gives charters different rules, like how they are exempt from recess.

And that’s just for starters. Then after you have written a letter to your editor, send the same one to every major paper in the state, and it will only take about twenty minutes because the addresses are in the link below. I have to believe if people knew both how bad this bill was and how it was created they would demand changes and it is up to us to inform them.

Next notify your respective school board members and tell them, no demand that they fight this in the courts.  As I stated above the bill violates the single subject rule and I believe it violates the state constitution by stealing power away from local school boards as well. 

Text of Section 4:
School Districts; School Boards
(a) Each county shall constitute a school district; provided, two or more contiguous counties, upon vote of the electors of each county pursuant to law, may be combined into one school district. In each school district there shall be a school board composed of five or more members chosen by vote of the electors in a nonpartisan election for appropriately staggered terms of four years, as provided by law.
(b) The school board shall operate, control and supervise all free public schools within the school district and determine the rate of school district taxes within the limits prescribed herein. Two or more school districts may operate and finance joint educational programs.[1]

The state constitution is unambiguous. It doesn’t say, unless the legislature passes some terrible bill in the middle of the night. The power of local control has been continuously eroded by Tallahassee well enough is enough and our school boards must fight back.

Then ultimately, we must vote for better people, people who put the states children and schools ahead of their or their campaign supporter’s financial motives. People who will do things in the light of day and the right way as well. We are not represented by this current group in Tallahassee we are ruled by them and their personal interests not the good of the people dictate what they do.

People talk about the status quo, how that must be changed, well friends the real status quo is republicans have been in control of education policy here in Florida for over two decades. That is both branches of the legislature, the governor’s mansion and because they have ben appointing supreme court justices, that branch as well. Are there problems in education yes, most have to do with poverty, but many have either been directly caused or by through neglect, by the republican party, and I get it republicans, you might not want to hear that but it is the truth.   

We can change what has happened, we can right the wrongs and fix the issues in public education but only if we collectively do something and above lets you know how you can help and what you can do.


  1. I'm a Republican and I know this bill is BAD. I will NOT be supporting any incumbent that voted yes for this as my #1 determining factor. The back room dealing, conflicts of interest, double standards, and stripping our locally elected school boards of authority is enough for me to say NEVER AGAIN. Sadly, this issue alone makes me want to leave my party. Its SICKENING!

  2. This Govenor has been the worst Govenor for education that I can remember in 40 years as an educator! Shame on the teachers who voted for him because they vote party lines! Thanks to all those who decided to put him in office not once but twice. I am sure he was behind the late night meeting, and waited until he bought his second term before doing what he really wanted all along. I will be writing my letters, but after contacting Rubio about voting for DeVos and getting a stock too bad so sad letter, I realize they only care about donations and private interests. We are in BIG trouble!!! Once again educators unite, vote for children and what is best for education.

  3. I have been a lifelong (well, since voting age) Republican. This bill was the final straw. I'll be changing my registration to vote for Gwen Graham in the primary.