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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida House: School districts should cut salaries, not close schools

8

February

The state House passed a divisive amendment to its budget proposal, prohibiting some school districts from closing schools without first slashing the salaries of top administrators.

Opponents said the amendment was a thinly veiled shot at the Seminole County school district, which recently threatened to close schools if the Legislature did not increase education funding.

Seminole certainly fits the bill.

The amendment applies only to school districts that have tried -- but failed -– to levy a half-penny sales tax, and have built new school facilities despite three years of declining student enrollment. The Seminole school system has come under fire for both.

What's more, the proposal came from Rep. Jason Brodeur, who represents a swath of Seminole.

Rep. Ana Rivas Logan, R-Miami, a former Miami-Dade School Board member, voiced support for the amendment, saying it was sound public policy.

“Closing schools is a very emotional thing to do to parents,” Logan said.

Democrats, however, said Tallahassee should mind its own business.

“This is a very dangerous amendment,” said Rep. Martin Kiar, D-Davie. “You are taking away local control and having Tallahassee make the decisions about what local school boards can or cannot do.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 12:38pm]

    

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