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2118562 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2013-05-01 18:28:44.0 UTC 2013-05-01T14:28:44.000-04:00 true flores-makes-last-minute-move-to-protect-subsidized-tutoring published 2013-05-15 21:38:28.0 UTC 2013-05-15T17:38:28.000-04:00 Just when it looked like Florida schools would be freed from state requirements to hire private tutoring companies, a state senator is making a late push to mandate funding through a fast-tracked virtual learning bill. Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, this morning proposed an amendment to an amendment of HB 7029 that would require districts to pay 8 percent of roughly $1 billion in federal education money to private tutoring contractors. That would amount to roughly $80 million for a for-profit tutoring industry that has lobbied feverishly to keep funding requirements in state law. The move comes the morning after an effort to preserve tutoring requirements through the budget process failed. If Flores' amendment doesn't pass, the existing mandate for funding "supplemental educational services" will expire and school districts will have power over about $100 million in federal funding for the first time in a decade. Before last week, the bill Flores is trying to amend seemed destined to become law as a priority of House Speaker Will Weatherford. The measure, sponsored in the House by Rep. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah, would enable students to enroll in virtual schools based in other counties and allow out-of-state digital learning companies a shot at a larger cut of state funding. When the bill suddenly slowed down in the Senate, observers wondered what the hold up was. The sponsor in the upper chamber, Sen. Jeff Brandes, told a Herald/Times reporter he was working on amendments. Asked this afternoon why she had filed the amendment, Flores walked in the opposite direction of a Times/Herald reporter. "I have to go eat lunch," she said. During the budget discussions late last month, the House pushed for making subsidized tutoring optional. The Senate wanted to keep requirements for funding tutoring on the books. As the talks progressed, tutoring had a strong backer in Flores, who urged her colleagues to keep the funding requirement. “SES provides a very important service to low-income, minority students who need help beyond the regular school hours,” Flores told the Times/Herald. “But there also needs to be strong accountability measures to ensure that only quality providers are providing the service.” Flores is CEO of Doral College, Inc., a non-profit charter school and private college company started by Fernando Zulueta and his wife, Magdalena Fresen, in 2001. Zulueta also founded another charter school company, Mater Academy, Inc., which now doubles as a state-approved tutoring contractor. Last school year, Mater earned $380,000 tutoring in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Today Zulueta runs a for-profit management company, Academica Corp., that operates both charter school businesses on a contract basis. Flores told the Times/Herald she had no idea that Mater runs a tutoring firm, and she added that she didn’t consider it a conflict of interest. “It didn’t come from them,” she said of her support for tutoring. “This is coming from Anitere Flores.” UPDATE: Flores withdrew her amendment before Wednesday's vote. It ended up being run by Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, and defeated in a voice vote in the Senate floor. In an interview with The Herald/Times, Flores said Garcia had decided to carry the amendment as chair of the Hispanic Caucus. Late last month, the caucus released a statement expressing support for supplemental education services. "Elimination of the statute requiring subsidized tutoring would disproportionately affect minority and low-income children, which is why the Sen. Garcia amendment language was so strongly supported by Sen. Bullard and the Black Caucus," Flores wrote in a statement. She added: "To imply that the reason for my support is in any way connected to my employment is ridiculous and baseless. This is an issue that has been important to me since I was first elected because it directly effects the children in my district." -- MICHAEL LAFORGIA AND KATHLEEN McGRORY  Kathleen McGrory the-buzz-florida-politics legislature, education, impact, tutor UPDATED: Flores makes last-minute move to protect subsidized tutoring 0 Sen. Anitere Flores, R- Miami talks with Sen. Rene Garcia, R- Hialeah, on the floor of the Senate. Flores proposed an amendment to an amendment of HB 7029 that would require districts to pay 8 percent of roughly $1 billion in federal education money to private tutoring contractors. /resources/images/photo-gallery/2013/05/OT_369439_KEEL_9_FLGOV05021.jpg SCOTT KEELER | Times /resources/images/photo-gallery/rendered/2013/05/OT_369439_KEEL_9_FLGOV05021_4col.jpg/resources/images/photo-gallery/rendered/2013/05/OT_369439_KEEL_9_FLGOV05021_8col.jpg true templatedata/tampabaytimes/BlogArticle/data/the-buzz-florida-politics/2013/05/01/1367433043-flores-makes-last-minute-move-to-protect-subsidized-tutoring BlogArticle Just when it looked like Florida schools would be freed from state requirements to hire private tutoring companies, a state senator is making a late push to mandate funding through a fast-tracked virtual learning bill.legislature, education, impact, tutorlegislature, education, impact, tutorKathleen McGrory 1270579 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2013-01-15 14:19:55.0 UTC 2013-01-15T09:19:55.000-05:00 kathleen-mcgrory published 2015-06-22 21:17:40.0 UTC 2015-06-22T17:17:40.000-04:00 Kathleen McGrory <p>Kathleen McGrory is a health and medicine reporter at the <i>Tampa Bay Times</i>. Before joining the newspaper in 2015, she spent seven years as a metro reporter for the <i>Miami Herald</i> and two years as a government reporter in the <i>Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald</i> Tallahassee Bureau. She speaks Spanish and holds degrees from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.</p> Times Staff Writer writers DTI 102012572 Kathleen McGrory is a health and medicine reporter at the Tampa Bay Times. Before joining the newspaper in 2015, she spent seven years as a metro reporter for the Miami Herald and two years as a government reporter in the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau. She speaks Spanish and holds degrees from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. <p>Phone: (727) 893-8330</p> <p>Email: <a href="mailto:kmcgrory@tampabay.com">kmcgrory@tampabay.com</a></p> <p>Twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/kmcgrory">@kmcgrory</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 1 /resources/images/dti/2013/01/Kathleen_McGrory_wp.jpg true templatedata/tampabaytimes/AuthorProfile/data/102012572-kathleen-mcgrory AuthorProfile 2013-01-15 14:19:55.0 UTC 2013-01-15T09:19:55.000-05:00 2262458 2016-01-22 21:27:21.0 UTC 7 Months Ago post-redistricting-deal-flores-to-move-bullard-stays-put the-buzz-florida-politics Updated: Post-redistricting deal: Flores to move, Bullard 'stays put' BlogArticle 2283000 2016-06-24 15:50:36.0 UTC 2 Months Ago as-candidate-qualifying-ends-some-last-minute-maneuvering the-buzz-florida-politics As candidate qualifying ends, some last-minute maneuvering BlogArticle 2269019 2016-03-11 23:07:16.0 UTC 5 Months Ago legislature-passes-legacy-florida-preservation-effort-as-last-bill-for the-buzz-florida-politics Legislature passes 'Legacy Florida' preservation effort as last bill for session BlogArticle <p>Just when it looked like Florida schools would be freed from state requirements to hire private tutoring companies, a state senator is making a late push to mandate funding through a fast-tracked virtual learning bill.</p> <p>Sen. <b>Anitere Flores</b>, R-Miami, this morning proposed an amendment to an amendment of HB 7029 that would require districts to pay 8 percent of roughly $1 billion in federal education money to private tutoring contractors. That would amount to roughly $80 million for a for-profit tutoring industry that has lobbied feverishly to keep funding requirements in state law.</p> <p>The move comes the morning after an effort to preserve tutoring requirements through the budget process failed. If Flores' amendment doesn't pass, the existing mandate for funding &quot;supplemental educational services&quot; will expire and school districts will have power over about $100 million in federal funding for the first time in a decade.</p> <p>Before last week, the bill Flores is trying to amend seemed destined to become law as a priority of House Speaker <b>Will Weatherford</b>.</p> <p>The measure, sponsored in the House by Rep. <b>Manny Diaz</b>, R-Hialeah, would enable students to enroll in virtual schools based in other counties and allow out-of-state digital learning companies a shot at a larger cut of state funding.</p> <p>When the bill suddenly slowed down in the Senate, observers wondered what the hold up was. The sponsor in the upper chamber, Sen. <b>Jeff Brandes</b>, told a Herald/Times reporter he was working on amendments.</p> <p>Asked this afternoon why she had filed the amendment, Flores walked in the opposite direction of a Times/Herald reporter. &quot;I have to go eat lunch,&quot; she said.</p> <p>During the budget discussions late last month, the House pushed for making subsidized tutoring optional. The Senate wanted to keep requirements for funding tutoring on the books.</p> <p>As the talks progressed, tutoring had a strong backer in Flores, who urged her colleagues to keep the funding requirement.</p> <p>“SES provides a very important service to low-income, minority students who need help beyond the regular school hours,” Flores told the Times/Herald. “But there also needs to be strong accountability measures to ensure that only quality providers are providing the service.”</p> <p>Flores is CEO of Doral College, Inc., a non-profit charter school and private college company started by <b>Fernando Zulueta</b> and his wife, <b>Magdalena Fresen</b>, in 2001.</p> <p>Zulueta also founded another charter school company, Mater Academy, Inc., which now doubles as a state-approved tutoring contractor. Last school year, Mater earned $380,000 tutoring in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.</p> <p>Today Zulueta runs a for-profit management company, Academica Corp., that operates both charter school businesses on a contract basis.</p> <p>Flores told the Times/Herald she had no idea that Mater runs a tutoring firm, and she added that she didn’t consider it a conflict of interest.</p> <p>“It didn’t come from them,” she said of her support for tutoring. “This is coming from Anitere Flores.”</p> <p><b>UPDATE</b>: Flores withdrew her amendment before Wednesday's vote. It ended up being run by Sen. <b>Rene Garcia</b>, R-Hialeah, and defeated in a voice vote in the Senate floor.</p> <p>In an interview with The Herald/Times, Flores said Garcia had decided to carry the amendment as chair of the Hispanic Caucus. Late last month, the caucus released a statement expressing support for supplemental education services.</p> <p>&quot;Elimination of the statute requiring subsidized tutoring would disproportionately affect minority and low-income children, which is why the Sen. Garcia amendment language was so strongly supported by Sen. Bullard and the Black Caucus,&quot; Flores wrote in a statement.</p> <p>She added: &quot;To imply that the reason for my support is in any way connected to my employment is ridiculous and baseless. This is an issue that has been important to me since I was first elected because it directly effects the children in my district.&quot;&nbsp;</p> <p>-- MICHAEL LAFORGIA AND KATHLEEN McGRORY</p> <div style="position: absolute; left: -40px; top: -25px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;" data-mce-bogus="1" class="mcePaste" id="_mcePaste">  </div>trueruntime2016-08-30 05:55:57