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We need your help right now.
In a bold and historic move, every significant education advocacy group, including the Florida PTA, SupportDadeSchools.net and 50th No More, has signed on to stand in collective opposition against House Conforming Bill 5101. Conforming bills exist to highlight the details of a budget. Today we are grateful to a leading Republican Representative, a true friend to public education, who personally walked our letter into Governor Crist.
In our letter, we urge Goveror Charlie Crist to VETO the House Conforming Bill 5101.
We have until end of the day Thursday to make our point.
Legislators have used House Conforming Bill 5101 to scare everyone. This fall you will be faced with horrible losses and turmoil in your districts. Many are talking about completely eliminating all electives, including sports, music and art. All of this suffering will be brought on by the class-size fines that were designed by our legislators and placed in HCB 5101.
Here’s how HCB 5101 hurts our kids and public schools:
Exempts Florida Public Charter Schools from all class-size penalties fines and allows these schools to maintain their school-wide averages.
- It is unconstitutional to punish and fine every other public school in the state and give a pass to the charter schools.
- Charter Schools are Public Schools. Why place pain on one sector and not another?
Financial Penalties to districts for class-size non-compliance are not required by the Florida Constitution or defined in any statute. They are:
- Unfair, fabricated only for political gain, discriminatory and overtly punitive.
- Blatant voter manipulation: Deliberately choosing to put parents and districts through the manufactured pain of “compliance” just before they go to the polls serves one purpose: voter manipulation.
“Level funding” depends on districts calculating their required local effort at 96% – up from the previous 95%.
- This is unachievable. Florida’s deeply struggling economy makes this an empty attempt. Districts cannot function on the hope that the Required Local Effort (our property taxes) can be written on 96%. This amount to millions in cuts to education funding and a deceptive tax increase for the citizens of Florida
House Conforming Bill 5101 took shape in the last days of the session when legislators thought no one was watching. We cannot allow our kids to be used and hurt by this process anymore. A veto would help our kids and schools avoid unnecessary suffering and damage.
Governor Charlie Crist stood alone in his brave move to veto SB6. You fought for that.
Call and write Governor Crist now. This fight is not over. We cannot allow these arbitrary class-size penalties to ruin our fall just to give legislators the satisfaction of watching us all “feel the pain” and be bullied into voting their way in November.
Executive Office of the Governor Switchboard: (850) 488-7146
[Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time]
Governor Crist has shown that he’s listening. Actions speak louder than words.
View the letter to the Governor here: