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Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Gov. Scott to approve pay raise bill for state workers

Gov. Scott to approve pay raise bill for state workers

"We urge Gov. Scott to quickly sign this bill and remove unnecessary barriers to new charter schools so our students don't have to remain stuck in schools that are failing to provide a quality education", Grajales said.

The battle is over giving state money to charter schools.

In addition, HB 7069 requires school districts to share their local capital funding with district charter schools.

It also demands local property taxes be shared with charter schools, but it also provides additional money for poorly-performing public schools.

"I am disappointed this has now been signed into law", she said.

"All we know is $140 million is going to be held captive at the state level and we don't even know if any of those charters are going to come to Hillsborough County", said Cindy Stuart. Title 1 dollars go toward programs for at-risk, disadvantaged and migrant students, as well as the teacher loan forgiveness program. "We want to make certain we retain this talent in state government and this critical legislation is a step in the right direction".

Activists, teachers, and students were protesting in downtown Orlando on Thursday afternoon, ahead of a Rick Scott event later in the day where he is expected to sign the controversial education bill HB 7069.

"In this bill a charter school can relocate next to you and you don't have anything to say about it", Littleton said.

But public school officials and advocates near universally blasted the bill.

School board member Becki Couch said there is hope for these schools. "While we can never thank them enough, I am grateful to the Governor and our state lawmakers for this legislation increasing their pay and the pay of state attorneys and judges who work diligently to protect our state from violent criminals".

Teachers are upset because potentially several hundred million dollars could be spent on charter schools that do not have to meet the same education standards as public schools. Initially, the state Senate had more than $100 million in its budget for the program, but then agreed to lower it during budget negotiations.

"This bill, which faced bipartisan opposition in the State Senate, has the potential to devastate Florida's public education system", wrote State Senator Gary Farmer in a letter Tuesday to Scott.

Some state legislators on both sides of the aisle complained that the bill's measures were crammed in at the last minute with little public debate.

But Negron said the veto of the bill, known as the "Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act of 2017", will cast uncertainty on expansion of the Bright Futures program for the future. He also said that the governor's veto would make it harder for families to save for college. "And it sets up a guarantee for the profitability of the charter school industry in this state by delivering public schools we've purposely ignored to corporate managers we've deliberately positioned for success".

"Today, I am proud to sign legislation that expands the Gardiner Scholarship program to help support even more students with unique abilities and provides almost $234 million in bonuses for Florida's incredible public school teachers", Scott said in a prepared statement.

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