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FEA Fears Governor May Have Secretly Agreed to Sign Charter School Legislation

June 5th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
Governor Rick Scott has vetoed the education funding portion of the budget and wants lawmakers to pump more cash into public schools. The legislature meets later this week.
Public school advocates fear that even with the increase, public schools will be playing second fiddle to charter schools.
Governor Rick Scott is asking for a $215 million dollar boost to Public School funding which works out to be about a $100 per student increase.
Scott and his staff spent two weeks behind closed doors hammering out a deal with the House.
Schools will get 215 million more, plus Scott gets money for visit Florida and Enterprise Florida.
Public School advocates also fear part of the deal, which Scott denies, calls for him to sign a massive expansion of charter schools.
“If we’re all singing kumbaya at a press conference then some deal has been cut somewhere along the way and I believe the students, the public school students are the pawns in that game,” said Joanne McCall, President of the Florida Education Association (FEA).
Scott does say he wants traditional public and charters to treated equally.
“My goal is there’s a pathway that all students in our state have a chance to get a great education. So I’m going to continue to review it,” said Governor Scott.
The charter legislation, would for the first time, force public schools to share tax dollars for school construction and repair.
The FEA says allowing it to become law would spell disaster for public schools.
“Charters were created originally, to be a unique difference from the public schools, but now all they are, are parallel systems of competing for the same dollars,” said McCall.
Scott has yet to get the charter expansion bill from lawmakers, and likely won’t until after they meet later this week to boost public school funding.
The FEA says the Governor is making personal calls to Super Intendants around the state asking them to support the charter school bill.

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