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Showing posts from May, 2019

John Thrasher strikes again

from Tampa Bay.coms gradebook

by Jeff Solochek

Florida teachers union decries new legislation as 'retribution'
Florida state Sen. John Thrasher, the Jacksonville Republican who sponsored last year's Senate Bill 6, filed a bill today that would ban payroll deductions that would be used for political activity, including contributions to candidates and tax-exempt organizations.

Employees would be able to request a refund of union dues used for political activity, unless that employee has specifically authorized such a use of the money. The bill also would prevent public employers from collecting dues of employee organizations from payroll.

The Florida Education Association quickly attacked the legislation.

"These actions are nothing more than retribution directed at FEA and other labor organizations for using our democratic right to support or oppose legislation in Florida, particularly last year’s SB 6," FEA president Andy Ford said in a release. "Of course, w…

On the backs of the old, the poor, the disabled and children, Rick Scotts budget

From TampaBay.com

by Mary Ellen Klas

Highlights of Rick Scotts budget

Education
* Cuts the education budget by $3.3 billion by slashing $703 in per pupil spending. That money would be offset the first year by $403 per student with one-time federal money; the cut is a 10 percent reduction in this year's $6,899 in per-pupil spending.
* Increases the amount spent on private school vouchers by $250 million in 2012.

State workers
* Cuts 8,600 jobs statewide, 8 percent of the workforce
* All 655,000 school district employees, state and county workers in the Florida Retirement System would be required to contribute 5 percent of their salaries to the state pension fund beginning July 1, 2011, saving $2.8 billion over two years.
* Beginning in July 2012, all state employees would receive $5,000 in health insurance regardless of family size.

Medicaid
* Proposes $3 billion in reductions over two years, including $1 billion in cuts to provider reimbursement rates. Savings are expected by rece…

Genuine Education Reforms Ignored for Fads

From Education Week, Teacher

by Anthony Cody

With state budgets falling short tough choices are being made for our schools. In spite of all the "students first" rhetoric, the way the various alternatives are being framed says much more about the ideology at work than what research and experience shows to be the best for children. Here are some genuine education reforms that, for some reason, have lost favor with lawmakers and their wealthy sponsors.

A recent study showed that school programs that target social and emotional learning yield significant benefits in terms of student learning.

Compared with their peers, participating students also significantly improved on five key nonacademic measures: They demonstrated greater social skills, less emotional stress and better attitudes, fewer conduct problems such as bullying and suspensions, and more-frequent positive behaviors, such as cooperation and help for other students. Also, the effects continued at least six months af…

Rick Scott: Billions with a B, in cuts to education

From the Miami herald

By Mack Caputo

EUSTIS – At a highly partisan tea-party event, Gov. Rick Scott unveiled his first budget proposal that makes good on his promises to slash the size and spending of government.

Scott proposed spending almost $66 billion -- $4.6 billion less next budget year compared to this year. Scott also wants to eliminate nearly 8,700 state positions, many of them filled by current state workers.

Though cutting those state jobs would add to the state’s unemployment rate, Scott indicated that the best way to grow the state’s economy was through his “jobs budget” that shrinks state government and cutting nearly $1.4 billion in property and corporate-income taxes.

“As long as 1.1 million Floridians are out of work, we can't afford a government that runs wild with taxes, regulations and excessive spending,” Scott told the enthusiastic crowd of a thousand conservative activists.

“Reviewing a governmental budget is much like going through the attic in an old home.…