Public Versus Private School Funding
We must stop Senate Bill (SB) 48 from becoming law! This “Educational Scholarship” bill is the most dangerous piece of legislation in Florida’s long campaign to privatize public education. Some dangerous parts of SB 48 include: switching vouchers to educational savings accounts (ESA) funded out of the treasury; increasing coverage of ESAs from 20,000 to 220,000 students; promoting a homeschooling model over classroom instruction; and threatening the end of elected school boards.
ESAs keep the funds with the students instead of with their school districts. Thus, advocates of school privatization, such as Charles Koch’s Americans for Prosperity, see ESAs as a means of dismantling public education. Florida needs strong, well-funded public schools. We need reforms that build up public schools, not tear them down.
Contact your senator and urge him to vote NO on SB 48! If you live in Charlotte County or Sarasota County, phone Sen. Joe Gruters (850) 487-5023 or email him at [email protected]
Could “Civic Literacy Practicum” Foster Indoctrination?
Voters might want to question the validity of a new program proposed for high school students. Senate Bill 146 “Civic Education” would require a “nonpartisan” civic literacy practicum (hands on individual project) for high school students. Although at first glance this bill seems quite benevolent, it is essentially fraught with potential problems, e.g. who decides if the practicum is nonpartisan, who mentors the practicum, and who evaluates the practicum product (what are their biases)?
Could the practicum increase the student’s civic education, or might it instead initiate their indoctrination? As a 27-year teacher, I can see many problems with this plan. Therefore, I strongly urge legislators vote NO on SB 146.
Contact Senator Brandes and urge him to vote NO on SB-146! phone Sen. Jeff Brandes (850) 487-5023 or email him at [email protected]
Do “Assessments” Promote Intellectual Freedom?
A new Senate bill, SB 264, would require Florida colleges and the State University to conduct annual assessments related to intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity. Auditors would ensure that a range of political philosophies has representation in the faculty. Their oversight would prohibit university leadership from denying controversial speakers the right to speak on campuses. Faculty would be required to complete an intellectual freedom and diversity survey.
Could these “assessments” create opportunities for political manipulation? Could they have a chilling effect on intellectual and academic freedom? Since any assessment has subjective, as well as objective outcomes, please urge your senator to vote No on SB 264.