Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Educators want more specifics from Gov. Rick Scott

“Education changed my life," Gov. Rick Scott said Monday.

His young life, yes. His political life? Not yet.

Two years in junior college led Scott to the Navy, then a four-year degree on the GI Bill and a law degree led to success in business.

"Education was the ticket," Scott told 200 members of the Florida Association of School Administrators at their annual legislative conference.

They included principals, assistant principals, curriculum directors and deputy school superintendents.

After the tragedy in Connecticut last month, they want safer schools.

They also want teachers to be evaluated fairly and they want more money for schools.

"Look, I support education," Scott said.

But these middle-aged educators from all over the state are not easily impressed.

"I love measurement," Scott said, and you could see his listeners taking the measure of a man trying to prove how committed he is to a better public education system.

They are waiting for Scott to put our money where his mouth is.

But he gave too few specifics, some said.

He agreed that a flawed teacher evaluation system needs to be reviewed "to make sure that it's done right."

Grady Cannon, assistant principal of Pace High near Pensacola, asked if the state will find the money to put resource officers in every school. Scott said it's a local decision because each school district is different and flexibility is important.

"I didn't really hear what I wanted to hear, but it wasn't a no," said Cannon, who wrote the governor a letter pleading that he reinstitute resource officers in all schools and add security cameras and two-way radios for support staff.

"We've got to have a legitimate conversation about school safety. What's the right way of doing it?" Scott told the group without offering his vision of what that means.

Scott also touted his plan to give $250 debit cards to teachers so they don't have to buy classroom items, and one educator asked if this were new money or would "supplant" existing funds.

Scott deferred to his education adviser, Kim McDougal, who said it's a rebranding of a program called Teacher Lead that gives teachers on average $180 for those expenses.

"Unfortunately the Legislature and governors have gotten no credit for it," McDougal said, "so we're going to rebrand to call it the Teacher Award Supply Fund."

A long, slow murmur swept through the crowd, and it didn't sound like approval.

"Look," Scott said as the murmuring subsided. "The way I look at it is, whatever we do, it's not going to be enough."

Principal Susan Keller of Tarpon Springs Middle School was not very impressed.

"It's just being called something different," Keller said of the classroom supply program. "It's not anything different. They've been getting that money for a long time."

Contact Steve Bousquet at bousquet@tampabay.com or (850) 224-7263.

Educators want more specifics from Gov. Rick Scott 01/14/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 12:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas receives two charter school applications

    Blogs

    Following a two-year dry spell, the Pinellas County school district has received two new applications to open charter schools in St. Petersburg.

    Windsor Preparatory Academy in St. Petersburg could be home to Pinellas Academy of Math and Science's St. Petersburg campus. The Pinellas County school district received a charter school application from that school's leadership this fall to open in 2018.
  2. Southern Heritage group draws fire for posting personal information of Confederate statue opponents

    Politics

    TAMPA — Curtiss Wilson is an 89-year-old Tampa resident who fought in the civil rights movement.

    A report by Save Southern Heritage Florida includes the "affiliation" of more than 100 people who spoke at the July 19 commission meeting in favor of removing  the Confederate monument from in front of the old county courthouse in Tampa. People on the list say the report was meant to intimidate and harrass opponents of the monument. Save Southern Heritage director Doug Guetzloe said the report is "opposition research" meant to to inform elected officials about who was speaking on the issue.
[Save Southern Heritage Florida]
  3. Gen. Votel interview: 'A bit of a stalemate' in Afghanistan, but a chance to optimize gains there

    Military

    In developing the plan for the war in Afghanistan that he announced Monday night, President Donald Trump consulted with advisers including his military leaders through their chain of command.

  4. Water Street Tampa unveils video showing downtown's transformation (w/video)

    Business

    TAMPA — Water Street Tampa, the sweeping, 50-plus acre redevelopment project in Tampa's urban core, has unveiled new images and video of what the downtown district will look like upon completion.

    Strategic Property Partners released a conceptual image of what the Tampa skyline will look like once its redevelopment of 50-plus acres of downtown will look like. [Photo courtesy of  of SPP]
  5. Bill Nelson shares Rick Scott's cautious stance on Confederate monuments

    Blogs

    On the issue of Confederate monuments, Sen. Bill Nelson is taking the cautious route of Gov. Rick Scott.