(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
RedefinED profiles an interesting snippet from current Florida K-12 politics. There is quite the controversy over an omnibus ed bill that districts want vetoed. Districts don’t want charters, but they need them:
The same district leaders who complain about the Legislature and call for a veto also say they need charter schools to accommodate population growth, as funds are scarce to build new schools. This is especially true in the southernmost part of the county, where approved developments that were dormant during the recession are now springing to life.
Some also recognize that charter schools can give a second chance to students who fall through the cracks in the district system. Board member Susan Valdes, speaking at the May 16 board meeting, described two such students, one who lost a parent to military combat and the other who had been ill.
“If the governor signs the bill,” Valdes said, addressing administrators in the auditorium, “hey, life lesson that we should learn about really, truly taking care of our children — not just taking their money.”
This is all going to get more challenging as Florida’s youth and elderly populations continue to expand. The current bill that stands at the center of the controversy includes a series of small but important steps in the needed direction. The yearned for veto will do nothing to address the reality that the Florida public school system must adapt to changing circumstances. Moreover “just taking their money” was an entirely reprehensible waste of human potential even during the easiest of times, which these are surely not. Just remember where you heard it first folks.