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Florida Constitution Revision Commission looks to connect education proposals into single items

Florida voters would see 24 proposals rolled into 12 amendments on the November ballot under a preliminary proposal unanimously adopted by the Style and Drafting Committee of the powerful Constitution Revision Commission on Wednesday.

The proposal was prepared by Commissioner Brecht Heuchan, chair of the committee, which has the power to decide which amendments get rewritten, which get merged with others, and which get weakened.

The CRC has the unique authority to put amendments directly on the ballot if 22 members of the 37-member commission approve.

Under the proposal tentatively agreed to on Wednesday, voters would see Proposal 10, which calls for expanding civics education in public schools, tethered to Proposal 71 to allow the state — along with school boards — to authorize charter schools and to Proposal 43, to limit the terms of school board members.

The recommendation also would connect higher education Proposal 44, which requires a super-majority vote by university trustees to raise fees, to Proposal 49, which provides college tuition for survivors of first responders and military who die in the line of duty; and Proposal 83, which establishes the state college system in the Constitution.

Six proposals would stand on their own and not be merged with others, including Proposal 93, which allows innovative and high-performing school districts to have the same flexibility as charter schools.

"The notion of letting everything stand alone — that's an extreme idea that jumps every bit of precedent that we have," Heuchan told the Times/Herald on Wednesday.

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