One more shot for 70 percent solution for Florida schools?
Despite disdain for the idea from think tank circles, some key Florida lawmakers again are tinkering with the notion of requiring school districts to spend a minimum of 70 percent of their funds in the classroom. (They've upped the ante from the 65 percent many states considered and dismissed.)
At functions this week, state Rep. Will Weatherford (tapped to become House speaker in 2012) talked up the concept as one of his priorities for the coming legislative session. He said Florida needs to take its limited education money and "put it in the classroom."
He mentioned the 70 percent solution when speaking about hiring teachers and spending flexibility. "It's in the mix," Weatherford said when asked exactly how it would tie into legislative action, suggesting the details hadn't been ironed out.
When we asked Senate president pro tem Mike Fasano his thoughts on the 70 percent solution, he shared Weatherford's enthusiasm, saying it's a method worthy of consideration.
Some Tallahassee insiders we know scoffed at the concept as a gimmick. And they warned that if the GOP leadership has any thought of winning changes to the class size amendment, the leaders shouldn't tie 70 percent to the package.
Unless they want to see school district support for their class size plans vanish, that is.