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Senate workforce bill expands to include all public schools

The original version would have targeted charter schools only.
 
Sen. Travis Hutson presents his Job Growth Grant Fund legislation to the Senate Education Committee on Nov. 12, 2019.
Sen. Travis Hutson presents his Job Growth Grant Fund legislation to the Senate Education Committee on Nov. 12, 2019. [ The Florida Channel ]
Published Nov. 12, 2019

Aiming to align career education to the needs of employers, state Sen. Travis Hutson proposed legislation to direct job growth grant fund money to certain charter schools that specialized in career-technical graduation pathways.

His bill (SB 130) quickly attracted criticism from observers who wanted to know why only charter schools would benefit from the plan.

On Tuesday, Hutson changed his proposal, noting he had heard from other lawmakers including Democrats in the Senate who wanted a change. In the end, it no longer would pit the two types of schools against one another.

“We decided to introduce this amendment so it won’t just be charters, and it won’t be exclusive to the CTE pathway,” Hutson told the Senate Education Committee, the bill’s second stop.

Instead, every public high school that provides career-technical instruction programs, whether district or charter, would be eligible for the funds. The money would be restricted, though, to program expenses, and not tangential costs.

No one on the committee questioned the change. No one in the audience opposed the measure.

Without debate, the committee unanimously advanced the bill.