Monday, June 18, 2018

Florida school board term limit backers jump start campaign for Amendment 8

The November general election might seem distant to many Floridians, who still await a list of candidates for many of the August primaries.

But the bottom of the ballot will be filled with more than a dozen amendments that will compete for attention with more high-profile races including U.S. senator and the state's governor. Attaining the 60 percent threshold to win approval could be an uphill climb.

That's why backers of Amendment 8 are kicking off their formal effort to promote the three-pronged education proposal now.

Constitution Revision commissioner Erika Donalds, the Collier County School Board member who sponsored the measure, announced Monday the creation of the political committee 8 is Great. She's joined by Indian River County School Board chairman Shawn Frost and Duval County School Board member Scott Shine in the effort.

All three have announced they will not seek reelection this fall. They each have been vocal conservative voices for education initiatives as participants in the Florida Coalition of School Board Members, a group that sprouted in opposition to the larger Florida School Boards Association's lawsuit challenging state tax credit scholarships.

"Amendment 8 is Great for Florida's future, and we are committed to communicating that message to all Floridians," Donalds said in a released statement. "As school board members, we are convinced that fresh ideas and diverse opportunities for innovation are essential to creating a system of public education that works for every student. When it comes to the policy necessary to deliver that change, Amendment 8 is Great!"

Amendment 8 includes three concepts — term limits for school board members, required civics literacy instruction in public schools, and authority for the Legislature to create new forms of public schools not responsive to school boards.

The bundling of the ideas, which critics have argued do not connect except for touching on education broadly, has drawn heavy censure from several groups.

Related: Three education ideas in one proposed Florida constitutional amendment earns negative reviews 

Donalds has consistently taken the lead in boosting the concepts individually and as a single amendment. She advocated for them at the Constitution Revision Commission sessions, corralling support, and also publicly through speeches and op-ed pieces in state media.

She said she's now working to build a grassroots coalition to back the proposal, calling it necessary to ensure the state can continue to respond to student needs with new education models.

Related: Florida education proposal tagged as Amendment 8 (sound familiar?) 

Comments
Florida education news: testing, safety and a gubernatorial candidate’s take on education

Florida education news: testing, safety and a gubernatorial candidate’s take on education

SAFE SCHOOLS: Miami-Dade School District asks local police departments to help put a cop on every campus, WLRN reports.TESTING: Four of Marion County’s worst-performing schools make gains on state tests, the Star-Banner reports. • Duval C...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Hillsborough test results point to continued struggles in reading

Hillsborough test results point to continued struggles in reading

It's not yet clear if this year's Florida Standard Assessment results will free seven Hillsborough County schools up from outside management, as Superintendent Jeff Eakins had hoped.Things improved at Potter and Booker T. Washington Elementary S...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18
School test scores are up all around the state

School test scores are up all around the state

Gov. Rick Scott is doing a victory lap and touting the level of state education funding, with standardized test scores inching up around the state.The numbers released Thursday show a one-point gain in English proficiency rates on the Florida Standar...
Published: 06/14/18
Florida education news: Superintendents fired and hired, election drama and a rally for unions

Florida education news: Superintendents fired and hired, election drama and a rally for unions

OUSTED: Hernando County School Board votes 3-2 to fire Superintendent Lori Romano, the Tampa Bay Times reports.LAWSUITS: A lawyer, apparently representing Hernando County schools Superintendent Lori Romano, threatens legal action against two School B...
Published: 06/13/18
Pinellas School Board candidate calls opponent’s district address ‘disingenuous’

Pinellas School Board candidate calls opponent’s district address ‘disingenuous’

In an email blast on Tuesday, Pinellas County School Board candidate Matt Stewart accused his opponent, Lorena Grizzle, of "misleading voters."He called Grizzle's recent change of address into question and said voters would "see it for what it i...
Published: 06/12/18
School board race gets first candidate

School board race gets first candidate

Business leader Steve Cona filed Monday to run for Hillsborough County School Board in the District 1 seat that Susan Valdes will vacate to run for the State House.He is the first to file since Valdes filed her resign-to-run letter on June 8.  A...
Published: 06/12/18
Lawyer threatens legal action against Hernando School Board members, says they violated contract with superintendent

Lawyer threatens legal action against Hernando School Board members, says they violated contract with superintendent

A lawyer, apparently representing Hernando County schools Superintendent Lori Romano, emailed School Board members Monday night threatening legal action against two of the officials she says violated the top adminstrator's contract wit...
Published: 06/12/18
Florida education news: tight budgets, changing posts and a TV debut

Florida education news: tight budgets, changing posts and a TV debut

CHANGING POSTS: Hillsborough County School Board member announces candidacy for spot in Florida House of Representatives the Tampa Bay Times reports.BUDGET: Hernando County schools superintendent releases list of budget priorities to be presented to ...
Published: 06/12/18
Susan Valdes will leave Hillsborough School Board to run for State House

Susan Valdes will leave Hillsborough School Board to run for State House

She moved against one of the most powerful school superintendents in the nation – and won. She championed the rights of Latino students while running afoul of the teachers' union.Now Hillsborough County School Board member Susan Valdes is ...
Published: 06/11/18
Hernando schools superintendent to present budget priorities to cash-strapped School Board

Hernando schools superintendent to present budget priorities to cash-strapped School Board

Amidst tough conversations about how to fund new school safety measures recently required by state, Hernando County schools Superintendent Lori Romano is set to present to the School Board items she thinks should make the cut into the distr...
Published: 06/11/18