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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Janet Cruz files legislation to give the people the ability to pick the commissioner of education.

Former speaker Richard Corcoran spent a legislative career proving he was no friend of public education and enriching his family by ramming through legislation that would benefit his wife who runs charter schools.  So what does governor DeSantis do? Why, despite a complete lack of education experience makes him commissioner of education and gives him over a quarter of a million dollar salary. Well where we may not be able to do anything about this ridiculous pick, Senator Janet Cruz wants to make sure we have a voice going forward by putting the commissioner of education back on the ballot.    

From Florida Politics,

State Sen. Janet Cruz filed a bill Tuesday that would return the state Commissioner of Education job to the ballot.
“Floridians deserve the right to vote for who is leading our education system,” the Tampa Democrat said. “Voters currently have no direct influence on state education policy and this resolution seeks to put an end to that.”
Cruz’ bill (SJR 422) comes after former House Speaker Richard Corcoran was selected as the state’s education chief. Corcoran is a proponent of school choice, making him an unpopular pick among Democrats, many of whom believe state funds should be reserved for the traditional public school system...
...“Going forward, we should remove politics and personal agendas from the selection process” she said.
“The commissioner of education needs to be a champion of Florida’s traditional public education system. This resolution restores transparency to the process, and, most importantly, ensures that the voters are heard.”
In 1998, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment restructuring the Cabinet and making Education Commissioner and Secretary of State non-elected offices.
The bill would place a constitutional amendment on the 2020 ballot. If approved by 60 percent of voters, the position would then be on the 2022 ballot, aligning it with Florida’s elections for Governor and Cabinet.
I think we need to be honest with ourselves. Just because she filed the legislation doesn't mean it will pass and in fact it is unlikely too, it would interfere with the republicans in Tallahassee agenda to privatize our schools.  
That being said, this is a good first step to bringing sanity back to Florida's education system. It is most likely going to take a citizen driven campaign to get it in the ballot, but that's okay, teachers have never been afraid of work.
So thank you senator Cruz, it's past time Tallahassee started looking out for public ed. 

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