The bourgeois Republican baton of the accompaniment House of Representatives wants a bill to become law so badly, he angry it to billions of dollars in accessible academy funding. The Democrats in his alcove alarm the legislation an aberrant advance on accessible education.
Now it’s advancing up for its aboriginal audition in the accompaniment Senate; the chamber’s apprenticeship lath will accede it on Tuesday morning.
We’ve heard the talking credibility about House Bill 7055, the above antecedence of House Apostle Richard Corcoran: It creates a new agenda for accessible academy acceptance who are afraid and a scholarship for disturbing readers. It threatens the actuality of teachers’ unions. It makes it harder to abutting allotment schools.
But what’s in the blow of the bill’s about 200 pages? We apprehend and analyzed it so you don’t accept to. Here’s WLRN’s guide to the album apprenticeship legislation that has bedeviled the chat in the accompaniment Capitol during the 2018 aldermanic session.
MAJOR PROVISIONS WORTH WATCHING:
The “Hope Scholarship”
In short: Creates a new tax-credit agenda for acceptance who are bullied, accoutrement busline to added accessible schools or allegation at clandestine schools.
In detail: Aback bodies buy cars and annals them, they pay taxes. Beneath the new program, motorists would accept the advantage to accord $105 to a scholarship-funding alignment that would allotment out the awards to acceptance rather than pay taxes to the state.
(Technically, drivers would be advantageous the $105 to car dealers, and afresh the dealers would affirmation the tax acclaim aback advantageous taxes to the state. The bill lays out austere penalties for dealers if they abduct the scholarship money rather than altruistic it, including a accessible first-degree abomination allegation depending on the bulk of money stolen.)
Purchasers of abundant trucks, tractor trailers and motorcycles would not be eligible.
Motorists would not be able to baptize specific acceptance to abutment with their contributions.
The scholarships would be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Acceptance who accept accomplished “battery; harassment; hazing; bullying; kidnapping; concrete attack; animal offenses, harassment, advance or battery; blackmail or intimidation; or angry at school” would be eligible. That includes blowing accomplished at school-sponsored programs or activities, while benumbed on the academy bus or cat-and-mouse at the bus stop. In 2015-16, added than 45,000 accessible academy acceptance in Florida arise these types of incidents, according to an analysis by House staff.
Students would accept to address the blowing incidents to their schools. Beneath the bill, academy districts would accept 15 canicule afterwards an adventure was arise to acquaint parents they were acceptable for a “Hope Scholarship,” accountable to accessible funding.
Parents whose afraid accouchement ambition to alteration to a accessible academy in addition commune would get $750 to awning busline costs. For parents who appetite to accept their accouchement in clandestine schools, the scholarship amounts would be based on the state’s per-student allotment levels for accessible schools: The awards would be 88 percent of per-student allotment for acceptance in kindergarten through fifth grade, 92 percent for those in grades six through eight, and 96 percent for aerial schoolers. This year, that would ambit from about $6,300 to $6,900.
Students would be acceptable to abide accepting “Hope Scholarships” until they acknowledgment to any accessible academy or alum aerial school, whichever comes first.
The bill would absolute the accompaniment Department of Apprenticeship to appraise the altitude of any academy from which 10 or added acceptance transferred because of bullying.
Where to acquisition it: Curve 378-418 and 2096-2506
What they’re saying: “No one wants to see a adolescent ache from any blazon of abuse. We additionally don’t appetite that affliction to absolute the child’s adeptness to ability for the stars and apprehend their dreams.” – Corcoran, a Republican from Pasco County who is accepted to run for governor, on Twitter
“When you abide to cesspool assets from one educational arrangement to body another, you are framing a artful premise. And you are creating a apocryphal best and a counterfeit narrative.” -Rep. Shevrin Jones, Democrat from West Park
Our analysis: The new agenda affairs is Corcoran’s arch antecedence and awful acceptable to pass. If history is any guide, assembly will aggrandize accommodation and access allotment for it in approaching years.
The “Hope Scholarship” is adjourned by clandestine individuals authoritative donations that are incentivized by dollar-for-dollar tax credits. That’s agnate to the state’s better and longest-running agenda program, the Florida Tax Acclaim Scholarship, which was amorphous by above Gov. Jeb Bush in 2001. In that case, it’s corporations who get the tax acclaim — currently up to $700 actor absolute annually.
These types of vouchers get about built-in accoutrement that prohibit accessible allotment from activity to religious schools, because the money never touches the accompaniment treasury. Rather, it’s absent by the government. Critics altercate these behavior alter allotment abroad from accessible schools, because the money would contrarily become accepted acquirement that could be acclimated for apprenticeship or added government-funded programs.
The bulk tag: At atomic $41.5 actor in absent tax revenue, according to a agents analysis, additional $2 actor for the accompaniment Department of Apprenticeship to apparatus it.
Reading scholarship accounts
In short: Creates new state-funded educational accounts for third, fourth and fifth graders who accept bootless accompaniment articulacy exams.
In detail: Acceptance who abort third or fourth brand accompaniment anniversary tests would be acceptable for a scholarship on a first-come, first-served basis. The scholarships could be acclimated to pay for curriculum, which is authentic as a complete advance of abstraction — including online. Parents could additionally use the money to pay for added advisory materials, part-time tutoring, after-school and summer apprenticeship programs and medical casework such as behavioral, occupational, concrete or accent therapy. They could additionally acquirement a academy accumulation account.
The bill says the amounts of the scholarships would be defined in the budget. They would not aggregate taxable income.
Where to acquisition it: Curve 2509-2643
Our analysis: Third-grade anniversary tests are aerial stakes in Florida: the law requires acceptance to be “retained,” or captivated back, in third brand if they can’t canyon the exams, with some exceptions. The action catastrophe alleged “social promotion” was the cornerstone of Bush’s apprenticeship bequest and has been upheld admitting accustomed challenges. Also, accompaniment law mandates an added hour per day of anniversary apprenticeship in the 300 lowest-performing elementary schools. This would be addition in a continued account of accompaniment behavior advised to remediate disturbing readers.
The anniversary scholarship angle isn’t a agenda — yet. The acceptable uses don’t accommodate clandestine academy tuition, so parents could absorb the money on added advice alfresco of academy but not on switching acceptance to a new academy altogether. Again, historically, anniversary of Florida’s agenda programs has amorphous by targeting a baby accumulation of acceptance with a almost baby bulk of money. Then, assembly accept broadcast them over time, so it’s accessible this is the berry of a new agenda program.
The bulk tag: $9.7 million, additional a $300,000 authoritative fee for the scholarship-funding organizations (the primary one is Step Up For Students).
A ambition on teachers’ unions
In short: Threatens the actuality of teachers’ unions that don’t accept a aerial admeasurement of dues-paying members.
In detail: Unions accept to renew their allotment with the accompaniment every year. Beneath the bill, aggregate acceding units that represent advisory cadre (i.e. teachers’ unions) renewing their allotment would accept to address to the accompaniment how abounding bodies are acceptable to be members, and how abounding are absolutely dues-paying members. If beneath than bisected of acceptable agents are dues-paying members, afresh unions would accept to reapply for acceptance — endangering their affairs of application the rights to represent those workers. If unions don’t accede with the requirement, their acceptance would be revoked automatically.
Where to acquisition it: Curve 4361-4388
What they’re saying: “A boyhood administration … is not a articulation for the majority.” -House apprenticeship lath armchair Michael Bileca, a Miami Republican, to the the Miami Herald
“ARTICLE 1, SECTION 6 of the FL Architecture says, ‘The adapted of employees, by through a activity organization, to arrangement collectively SHALL NOT BE DENIED OR ABRIDGED.’ So abundant for that!” -Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, a Democrat from Orlando, tweeted about House Bill 25, the aboriginal antecedent of this provision
“This blunder is a bright attack to abort our accessible schools while cogent able educators they artlessly are not acceptable in Florida.” -Joanne McCall, admiral of the the Florida Apprenticeship Association, a statewide teachers’ union
Our analysis: This accouterment comes from House Bill 25, which anesthetized the House but is absurd to canyon in the added abstinent Senate and was derided by critics as an attack at “union busting.” While the aboriginal abundance would accept targeted a broader swath of accessible agent unions — excluding those apery law administration admiral — the accouterment in House Bill 7055 alone affects teachers.
Bileca has said that’s because House Bill 7055 is an apprenticeship bill, and the accompaniment architecture says bills can alone accept a distinct subject. Including action that affects unions different to apprenticeship would breach the single-subject rule, he argued.
However, the House has been aboveboard adverse to teachers’ unions, decidedly in ablaze of FEA’s accustomed challenges of the state’s agenda programs. Corcoran alleged FEA’s ultimately bootless accomplishment to annihilate the tax-credit scholarship affairs “evil” during his aboriginal accent as House speaker.
Teachers’ unions in South Florida would be endangered if this affirmation became law. The Herald arise that associates in the United Agents of Dade is beneath the 50 percent beginning set alternating in the bill.
The bulk tag: None.
A chancy accommodation for allotment academy architecture funding
In short: Creates a new blueprint for allotment architecture and accessories aliment at allotment schools, and eliminates the contempo affirmation that academy districts allotment bounded architecture dollars with charters, at atomic in the abbreviate term.
In detail: The bill would authorize a minimum beginning for how abundant architecture allotment charters would get every year, automatically adapted annually for inflation. If assembly didn’t accommodate abundant in accompaniment allotment to accommodated the beginning in any accustomed year, districts would accept to accomplish up the aberration with bounded tax dollars.
Under the bill, allotment schools would be affirmed to accept at atomic the aforementioned bulk of money per apprentice on boilerplate in approaching years as they get in 2018-19. House leaders accept proposed accouterment $120 actor in accompaniment architecture allotment to allotment schools abutting year. So, in approaching years, they would get at atomic that much, and the cardinal would abound with apprentice acceptance and inflation.
Where to acquisition it: Curve 4841-4902
Our analysis: Academy districts, including Miami-Dade County Accessible Schools, pushed for a accommodation that would allay the accountability of surrendering some of their allotment of $2.7 billion in bounded acreage tax acquirement to allotment schools. But if this goes through, charters will accept a affirmed attic for the bulk of money they can absorb on basic projects, with no agreement that academy districts won’t accept to bottom the bill.
In any accustomed year, the accompaniment could abort to adapted abundant money to accommodated the threshold. Or the antecedent of accompaniment basic funding, alleged Accessible Apprenticeship Basic Outlay (PECO), could dry up; it’s advised capricious because it’s acquired from taxes on utilities, telecommunications and cable. And assembly could use their ability over whether districts ultimately accept to accord to allotment basic outlay to advance for their cooperation with added aldermanic initiatives.
Alternately, the admeasurement would be a win-win for allotment proponents, who could affirmation amicableness for negotiating with districts while ensuring that their privately-run schools accept a reliable allotment beck for the accountable future. The accepted accord resulted in alone $91 actor for charters this year, with some accepting annihilation at all. Districts accept capricious obligations to pay aback debts, payments that are accounted for afore charters get a attempt at whatever’s larboard over.
The bulk tag: The action would amount annihilation to implement. Its aftereffect on the account would alter every year.
POLICY CHANGES FLYING UNDER THE RADAR:
Further banned on the ability of academy boards
In short: Establishes several accoutrement that added abate academy boards, which acquire their ascendancy over academy districts from the accompaniment constitution.
A sampling of changes:
Our analysis: The Legislature has a continued history of accusatory about Washington bamboozle but has becoming Tallahassee a agnate acceptability amid bounded governments. Academy boards accept a ambition on their backs, abnormally back added than a dozen sued the state over aftermost year’s apprenticeship mega-bill, House Bill 7069. Academy lath associates accustomed they would acceptable ache retaliation, a anticipation that has arguably arise to accomplishment with these provisions.
The changes acceptance admiral and principals to advance schools beneath separate, unelected boards seek to accomplish academy boards irrelevant. The new befalling for legislators to adjustment artifice investigations into academy boards sends a message: we’re watching you.
The proposed new biking requirements announce that some assembly are apprehensive of academy lath members’ spending habits on the accessible dime. And the affirmation of the state’s ability over decisions about whether to accessible academy barrio afterwards emergencies suggests assembly ability accept been black with bounded leaders’ administration of Hurricane Irma in September. The storm bankrupt schools all over the state, including for seven academy canicule in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, and best in the hard-hit Florida Keys.
Further, the empowerment of alone academy lath associates — to activate accompaniment probes and appeal allotment advice — added boosts a baby but added able bourgeois academy lath affiliate accumulation accustomed to battling the acceptable Florida Academy Boards Association, which some assembly resent because of accomplished action over vouchers. The almost new Florida Coalition of Academy Lath Associates was founded by Erika Donalds, a Collier County academy lath member, Corcoran appointee to the Architecture Revision Commission and the wife of Naples Republican Rep. Byron Donalds.
Strengthens allotment schools
In short: Makes it easier to accessible new allotment schools and harder to abutting them.
A sampling of changes:
Analysis: Republican House associates are ardent supporters of allotment schools, and some of them accept claimed and banking ties to the advantageous industry. Corcoran’s wife, Ann, founded a allotment school. Bileca leads a allotment academy foundation. House K-12 apprenticeship account lath armchair Manny Diaz, Jr., a Hialeah Republican, is arch operating administrator of an unaccredited academy run by the state’s better allotment administration firm, Academica.
The bulk tag: None.
New, automated accountability standards for clandestine schools accepting vouchers
In short: Creates a distinct set of accountability standards for clandestine schools accommodating in state-sponsored agenda programs.
In detail: The new requirements accommodate ramped-up armpit visits from the Department of Education, stricter blank of bloom and blaze assurance acquiescence and new accomplishments analysis requirements for academy owners and employees.
Where to acquisition it: Lines 2644-3147
Analysis: Democrats accept said they abutment these changes. That’s why they’re in the bill. Republican leaders appetite to at atomic arise like they’re ambrosial to everyone.
The advance for stronger accountability abundantly followed an analytic address by the Orlando Sentinel. Apprehend it here.
The bulk tag: $950,000 to abutment the department’s greater blank requirements, additional $250,000 for a abstraction of agenda recipients’ achievement on civic norm-referenced tests.
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