Moving right along
While lawmakers kick around their proposals to make the class-size amendment less onerous - the House wants to create flexibility through an "emergency" circumstances provision, while the Senate is looking at delaying implementation a year - the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission is pressing ahead with the fix that many in the Legislature prefer but can't accomplish, a referendum asking voters to abandon classroom counts for school-wide averages instead.
The commission's proposal won approval at its second committee this week, and with a wider margin than it received at its first stop. Just one member of the Planning and Budgetary Processes Committee, Pinellas teachers union leader Jade Moore (right), opposed the idea, which seven other members supported. The Governmental Services Committee gave the concept a narrower 5-3 blessing.
That means the proposed referendum already has 12 supporters of the 17 it needs to make its way to the November ballot. The full commission could take up the measure as early as March 17.
A second proposal, one that has drawn attention as the voucher amendment, also won support this week from the Planning and Budgetary Processes Committee and is on its way to the full panel, too. This measure would amend the constitution to allow Floridians to receive publicly-funded services including schooling from private providers. Moore and former House member Carlos Lacasa of Miami provided the no votes.
The commission, which meets every 20 years, must complete its work by May 4. Stay tuned.