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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

'Monday's vote is about more than recess,' disappointed parents say of education budget bill

Orlando Republican Rep. Rene Plasencia, right, met with “recess moms” in February in the Florida Capitol. The mothers — from left: Amy Narvaez of Orlando, Stephanie Cox of St. Petersburg (not pictured), Angela Browning of Orlando, Christie Bruner of St. Petersburg, and Mandy Lipham of Lakeland — were joined by Florida PTA legislation chair Angie Gallo (not pictured) in urging lawmakers to approve mandatory, daily recess in public elementary schools.

Kristen M. Clark / Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Orlando Republican Rep. Rene Plasencia, right, met with “recess moms” in February in the Florida Capitol. The mothers — from left: Amy Narvaez of Orlando, Stephanie Cox of St. Petersburg (not pictured), Angela Browning of Orlando, Christie Bruner of St. Petersburg, and Mandy Lipham of Lakeland — were joined by Florida PTA legislation chair Angie Gallo (not pictured) in urging lawmakers to approve mandatory, daily recess in public elementary schools.

Passionate parents, like Kate Asturias of Miami and Angela Browning of Orlando, have been fighting for years to get guaranteed daily recess for their children and the more than 1.2 million other kids in Florida’s public elementary schools.

The two moms trekked to Tallahassee on Friday, for the countless time, hoping to see lawmakers finally make that happen. They left disappointed once again.

The favored proposal of “recess moms” and dads that unanimously passed the Senate a month ago (SB 78) wasn’t brought to the floor by House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, before Friday’s session deadline — despite parents’ numerous emails and phone calls urging him to take up the bill, which had the votes to pass easily.

Instead, Corcoran prolonged a conclusion to the recess proposal by lumping it — with a never-before-seen exemption parents didn’t ask for — into a 278-page education budget bill released Friday evening, three days before lawmakers will vote Monday on an annual budget package they can’t change.

Filled with disappointment and anger, parents vented their frustration in social media groups this weekend — and some now have a message for their lawmakers: Don’t vote “yes” on this bill just so Florida’s kids can be assured recess.

More here.

[Last modified: Monday, May 8, 2017 5:23am]

    

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