School choice bill not about choice at all

by: Beth Kassab|Orlando Sentinel|April 20, 2016 School choice is already well established in Florida. Students who attend failing or very low performing schools can switch to a better school and even receive a stipend to help out with transportation expenses. Those “Opportunity Scholarships” have been around since 1999. Students with disabilities can transfer to public…

The People vs. The State of Florida

by Scott Maxwell|Orlando Sentinel|4.10.16 For the past few weeks, in a small courtroom up in Tallahassee, Florida has been on trial. Yeah, the entire state. It stands accused of denying children of a proper education. The plaintiffs are parents — some from here in Orlando — who say they’re sick of underpaid teachers, punitive testing…

Florida’s miserly 1% increase to Public ED explains F grade in new report

Governor Scott recently signed Florida’s 2016 Budget granting public schools a miserly 1% increase. What Scott and legislators called an “historic” level fell chronically short, echoing the  “F” in funding Florida earned in a newly released national study. Let’s recap: The current per pupil funding amount of $7,178 is $74 more than the final 2007/08 calculation of $7,142.79.  That’s…

Florida Standards Assessments ‘never’ sole factor in promotion, state says

by: Jeffrey Solocheck, Tampa Bay Times|April 4, 2016 Parents of third graders across Florida have raised loud complaints lately that their school administrators and teachers have threatened their children with retention if they don’t pass the Florida Standards Assessment or an alternate test. District officials say they’re sticking to state law, which says: “To be…