Veto House Bill 7069
Veto House Bill 7069

School Board Call to Action

The FY18 State Budget and Prek-12 education conforming bill (HB 7069) approved by the Legislature on May 8 fails to meet the needs of students served by Florida’s traditional public schools.  The Prek-12 Education budget reflects the House of Representatives position; reducing the State Base Student Allocation (BSA) by $27.07 and providing only a 0.34% overall funding increase per student.  This is far below the 3% increase in student funding included in the Governor’s Budget Recommendation and 2.91% originally proposed by the Senate.

Rather than adequately fund Prek-12 education through the established Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP), the Legislature has appropriated over $400 million to create and expand new programs through the conforming bill, including “Schools of Hope” and the Best and Brightest Teacher and Principal Scholarship Program.  Through HB 7069, school boards are required to distribute local capital outlay revenue generated by the 1.50 mill property tax levy to eligible charter schools. Local taxpayer dollars will be given to for profit companies to purchase and maintain real estate that will likely appreciate in value in Palm Beach County. The law does not prohibit the Charter Companies from selling real estate funded by taxpayers for a profit.

HB 7069 includes policy proposals from a large number of bills that failed to pass in the regular session.  The lack of transparency and limited 72 hour period for the public to review this legislation prior to the Legislature’s approval on Monday is cause for concern. A copy of the complete 278 page conforming bill (HB 7069) and FEFP budget can be found at this link.

Call Governor Scott and encourage him to use his veto powers

Use Your Veto Power

Send them back to the drawing board and make education a priority!

My Tax Dollars

You take issue with for profit corporations using our tax dollars to buy and sell property.

Need for Public Discussion

Back door dealings without transparency and open public discussion is not the Government you want for Florida

Let your local delegation know you support a Governor Veto (You should know only Senator Negron of the PB Delegation supported House Bill 7069)

Sen. Joe Negron

negron.joe.web@flsenate.gov
(772) 219-1665
@joenegronfl

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Sen. Bobby Powell, Jr

powell.bobby.web@flsenate.gov
(561) 650-6880
@Powell4Senate

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Sen. Kevin Rader

rader.kevin.web@flsenate.gov
(561) 443-8170
@RepRader81

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Sen. Jeff Clemens

clemens.jeff.web@flsenate.gov
(561) 540-1140
@ClemensFL

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Rep. Joseph Abruzzo

joseph.abruzzo@myfloridahouse.gov
(561) 470-2086
@SenatorAbruzzo

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Rep. Matt Willhite

matt.willhite@myfloridahouse.gov
(561) 791-4071
@mattwillhitefl

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Rep. MaryLynn Magar

marylynn.magar@myfloridahouse.gov
(772) 545-3481
@MaryLynnMagar

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Rep. Bill Hager

bill.hager@myfloridahouse.gov
(561) 470-6607
@RepBillHager

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Rep. Lori Berman

lori.berman@myfloridahouse.gov
(561) 374-7850
@loriberman

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Rep. Emily Slosberg

emily.slosberg@myfloridahouse.gov
(561) 496-5940
@EmilySlosberg

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Rep. David Silvers

david.silvers@myfloridahouse.gov
(561) 357-4824
@DavidRSilvers

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Rep. Rick Roth

rick.roth@myfloridahouse.gov
(561) 625-5176
@roth4florida

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Rep. Al Jacquet

al.jacquet@myfloridahouse.gov
(561) 650-6846
@ALJacquet

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Why HB7069 is Bad for District Schools

  • This legislation arose from closed-door negotiations with no input from educators, or the public – on the last day of the session in Tallahassee. This approach to education policy put together 55 bills into one 278-page piece of legislation without the opportunity for input from Superintendents or the citizens of Florida. It was released late on Friday and approved by a House and Senate vote on Monday.

  • HB 7069 is a conforming bill. This means it is intended to simply “conform” the approved budget to current law.  The Speaker of the House and Senate President utilized the conforming bill to create new policies and programs, bypassing the traditional steps of approving individual bills and enacting them into law.  As a result, several bills that failed to pass the full chambers of the House and Senate were cut and pasted into budget conforming bill by the House Speaker and Senate President behind closed doors.

  • The “Schools of Hope” provision in HB 7069 steers $140 million in education funding to charter school companies that agree to turn around low-performing schools. Charter companies agreeing to take on these schools do not have to serve all students and will receive more money than traditional public schools.

  • While it is unclear how much additional per pupil spending charter schools will receive to turn around schools, the original estimate was twice the per pupil amount that District schools receive. This is an extraordinary amount of tax-payer funds for an approach that has not been piloted or proven in Florida.

  • Last year, in Palm Beach County, there were 21 schools rated a “D” or “F” by the state Department of Education that improved their grades and are now no longer monitored by DOE. Palm Beach County’s teachers and administrators have proven their ability to turn around struggling schools. Instead of receiving “Schools of Hope” Funding, traditional Florida public schools will receive a 0.34% increase or roughly one-third of one percent increase in per student funding.  This paltry increase comes at a time when Florida’s economy is growing by over 4% per year.

  • HB 7069 also places restrictions on how districts can spend federal Title I dollars, which are earmarked for schools with large populations of students on free and reduced-price lunch. The state Legislature is now dictating to local school districts on how federal dollars can be spent, despite our proven track record of improving low performing schools and closing achievement gaps.

  • Under this sweeping legislation, all public schools must offer 20 minutes of recess each day – but charter schools are exempt.

  • HB 7069 requires School Districts to share local school property taxes designated for the maintenance and construction of traditional public schools with charter schools, many of which are managed by “for profit” private companies.

  • This transfer of local capital improvement property taxes to charter schools could exceed $230 million over the next ten years in Palm Beach County alone.

  • By forcing the transfer of local capital funds to charter schools, taxpayer dollars may be used to help pay for privately owned buildings. This creates further incentive for charter companies to growth profits by acquiring real estate holdings that will appreciate over time.  Taxpayers will never recoup these funds and charter outfits may sell their real estate for a profit at any time.

  • We cannot ignore that this legislation was largely lead by House Speaker Corcoran, whose family members have close ties with charter schools.

  • This bill does have some good points, like moving standardized testing to the end of the school year, shifting to paper and pencil tests, and making the Value-Added Model optional for teacher evaluations. But the few good pieces included in the legislation does not change the disastrous effect this bill could have on school districts throughout Florida.

  • We would rather start from scratch. Most major education advocacy groups who are often at odds with one another agree overwhelmingly that HB7069 should be vetoed by the Governor.

  • We are calling on Governor Scott to veto the state budget and this poorly crafted bill, and send lawmakers back to the drawing board. Legislators need to start over, and not make substantial education policy without input from educators.

  • To the Palm Beach County delegation, we ask you to hold the line and remain steadfast in your opposition to HB 7069. Senator Negron is the only Palm Beach delegate that supported HB 7069. Thank you for supporting our public schools and the School District of Palm Beach County.
Veto Bill

Tonight, the Palm Beach County School Board approved a “call to action,” urging Governor Rick Scott to veto the state’s budget and House Bill 7069, a sweeping education bill crafted on the last day of session and approved without input from educators or the citizens of Florida.

It is rare that the Board or School District use our public platforms to advocate on an issue; however, vetoing the budget and sending legislators back to Tallahassee is critically important to our school district, our employees and most importantly our students.

Click here to read more...
Veto Bill
Veto Bill

Tonight, the Palm Beach County School Board approved a “call to action,” urging Governor Rick Scott to veto the state’s budget and House Bill 7069, a sweeping education bill crafted on the last day of session and approved without input from educators or the citizens of Florida.

It is rare that the Board or School District use our public platforms to advocate on an issue; however, vetoing the budget and sending legislators back to Tallahassee is critically important to our school district, our employees and most importantly our students.

Click here to read more...
Veto Bill

Critics call for veto of massive Florida education bill

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - After lawmakers ignored their calls to vote down a sprawling education bill, opponents of the wide-ranging measure have turned to Gov. Rick Scott as their last hope to stop the proposal from becoming law.