Monday, April 23, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Pinellas should join charter school lawsuit

Welcome to the fight, Pinellas County. The School Board is poised to follow the recommendation of superintendent Mike Grego and join other districts around the state in a lawsuit challenging a wrongheaded law that further erodes local control of education.

The board is expected to vote on Grego's recommendation Tuesday, and members seem to be prepared to take a stand against Tallahassee's continuing overreach. Among other things, HB 7069 that was signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott this spring would direct more taxpayer money to charter schools for the construction and maintenance of school buildings that do not belong to the district. It also allows charters to open without local approval if nearby schools are underperforming on standardized tests.

While the law would adversely affect the entire state, Pinellas has a particularly good reason for joining the legal fight. The way the new law is written, school districts that have little debt would be forced to turn over a greater portion of money for charter construction. So Pinellas, in effect, would be penalized for having been a good steward of public funds and maintaining a low ratio of debt.

There is strength in numbers, and joining Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Duval, Orange and other large districts in this challenge would benefit the lawsuit both financially and in terms of creating a united front. The inclusion of Pinellas would mean that school boards representing roughly 47 percent of Florida's public school students are ready to do battle with the ideologues in Tallahassee. Pinellas officials should lead the way on Tuesday and hope more school boards follow their example.

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Correction

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Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

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Published: 04/22/18
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Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

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Published: 04/21/18

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Even a strong economy and low unemployment cannot overcome the persistent pay gap affecting full-time working women in Florida. A new report shows women in Florida earned 12.5 percent less on average than their male counterparts, and the disparities ...
Published: 04/21/18
Editorial: Florida’s death penalty fading away on its own

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Updated: 2 hours ago

Editorial: A missed chance for open primary elections

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Updated: 8 hours ago
Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

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Published: 04/20/18
Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

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The Hillsborough school district planted a fruitful seed with the opening of Nature’s Classroom five decades ago on the cypress-lined banks of the Hillsborough River northeast of Tampa. • The lessons taught there to some 17,000 sixth graders each yea...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: Equality pays off on Southwest Flight 1380

The passengers of Southwest Flight 1380 can be thankful that, 33 years ago, the U.S. Navy took the lead on equal opportunity.Capt. Tammie Jo Shults was piloting the flight from New York to Dallas on Tuesday when an engine exploded, blowing out a wind...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Anyone looking to make Hillsborough County government bigger, costlier, more dysfunctional and less of a regional force should love the idea that Commissioner Sandy Murman rolled out this week. She proposes enlarging the seven-member board to nine, e...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18