Why We Oppose Bill 7069
1. It violates the constitutional rules regarding ad valorem taxes for schools, with the requirement that districts distribute a portion of their capital funding tax revenue to charter schools. These are local tax funds. Not the legislatures'. But the legislature is telling the local school board what to do with their money. The legislature gave PECO funds almost extensively to charters.
2. It circumvents the constitutional mandate that school boards operate, control and supervise all public schools in their district, with the creation of a separate “schools of hope” charter school system. Goodbye local control. Give those charters the $$$$ and disappear!
3. It violates the state’s constitutional requirement that bills focus on a single subject, by encompassing more than 60 separate measures. We were told that that is OK! Its OK to ignore the Constitution?
4. It was a back room deal - It started as a 6 page bill on the Brightest Teacher and Principal program, went to a joint conference committee where it became a 278 page monster. Neither the members of the committee nor the general public had any real input. It was placed, unamendable, before the full House and Senate on the last day of the extended legislative session. Even the bill’s sponsor, Senator Simmons, voted no and urged his colleagues to vote their conscience. Nowhere in our recently approved history books, under How a Bill Becomes a Law, can this process be found.
(Charter schools are located on private property so we are to use public funds to renovate and remodel private property. And what of those charter schools that close. Florida leads the nation in closed charter schools. It is estimated that 40% of the books, computers, desks in closed charter simply disappear. Poof. Gone.)
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