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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Calls mount for Scott veto of K-12 schools spending, policy reforms

Miami-Dade schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, left, met with Gov. Rick Scott on Monday to urge him to veto HB 7069, a $419 million K-12 public schools bill that lawmakers unveiled and passed in the last three days of session.

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Miami-Dade schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, left, met with Gov. Rick Scott on Monday to urge him to veto HB 7069, a $419 million K-12 public schools bill that lawmakers unveiled and passed in the last three days of session.

Gov. Rick Scott faces mounting pressure from school superintendents, teachers unions and parent groups to veto $23.7 billion in base funding to K-12 public schools next year — as well as a controversial $419 million education policy bill, which lawmakers unveiled and passed in the span of just three days at the end of their annual session.

A rejection of the main education funding alone would force lawmakers back to Tallahassee for a special session to redo that part of the budget, which is almost a third of the $82.4 billion in overall state spending approved for 2017-18.

Scott hasn’t yet said how he might act on either the budget itself or HB 7069, the 278-page bill of sweeping K-12 reforms that was negotiated in secret in the session’s final days. It includes controversial incentives for charter schools, $234 million in bonuses for top teachers and principals, and an amalgamation of other policy changes — such as forcing districts to share with privately managed charter schools millions of dollars in local tax revenue earmarked for capital projects.

Miami-Dade schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho offered some possible insight Monday morning into Scott’s thinking as he left a closed-door meeting with Scott at Trump National Doral.

“The governor and I agree on one thing: There is a man-made crisis at play here that challenges the values of the state of Florida,” Carvalho said. “With $3 billion of surplus revenue at the beginning of session, to end up with a historically low increase in overall [K-12 education] funding... that may very well define the state — what we stand for and what we value.”

More here.

[Last modified: Monday, May 15, 2017 7:10pm]

    

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