A polite no from lawmakers at legislative breakfast
The Pinellas County School Board would like more money for traditional public schools, more control over its student calendar, final say about whether charter schools can open in its jurisdiction, and a three-year transition to the more rigorous Common Core State Standards and associated testing.
Board member Peggy O'Shea presented some of that legislative agenda to a smattering of local lawmakers at the 2014 legislative breakfast in Clearwater. The answer, for the most part, was no.
Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, politely knocked down many of the ideas.
The state must have its accountability system in place, he said. Consistent student calendars allow a mobile population to easily transfer between schools. It also allows for a uniform test window. The current charter process, which gives charters the right to appeal denials to the state Board of Education, allows for checks and balances. The district still has oversight.
"That's the important part," he said.