Hernando board members, superintendent sound off on SB 6
With the clock ticking toward Gov. Charlie Crist’s deadline to decide on Senate Bill 6, the head of the Hernando teacher union wasn’t about to pass up a public forum to do some last minute public lobbying – and to see if he could get Hernando School Board members on the record one last time, too.
Joe Vitalo, president of the Hernando Classroom Teachers Association, took his three minutes and then some during the public comment portion of Tuesday night’s board meeting to rail against SB 6. Vitalo listed many of the reasons familiar by now. The one he emphasized for the board: the 5 percent hit to school funding required for performance pay and test development, which Vitalo said will mean deep cuts to programs in the district.
A sampling of the comments from board members:
John Sweeney: “I hope Gov. Crist gets with the program and vetoes this bill.”
Sandra Nicholson: “(Lawmakers) think they can do a better job in Tallahassee than your local elected officials can.”
James Yant: “Hopefully, Gov. Crist vetoes this bill.”
Even new Superintendent Bryan Blavatt, sitting in his first regular meeting, weighed in: “If this really is set up to help students, then it needs to be structured in a very different way. We need to put funding right where it belongs, in the classroom with the kids.”