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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Citrus County School Board adds to call for HB 7069 veto

The Citrus County School Board has joined the long list of boards and associations urging Florida Gov. Rick Scott to reject HB 7069, the lengthy education measure that includes more than 20 policy issues including "schools of hope," Best and Brightest awards and testing changes.

"Our request does not come easy," chairwoman Virginia Bryant wrote to Scott, "as this legislative session there were some positive educational bills that as educators and leaders we have been requesting for years, and that were unfortunately added to HB 7069."

She cited such provisions as ending the value-added model requirement for teacher evaluations, granting school board members unfettered access to schools and more flexible use of digital classroom materials funds.

"While we greatly respect the work of our local legislators, unfortunately putting nearly all the educational legislation into a single 'Train bill' causes us to have to give up the positive parts, in order to save us from the most damaging," Bryant added, listing among those the proposed changes to Title I fund use.

Read the full letter here

Citrus County State Rep. Ralph Massullo, who backed the bill, told the Citrus County Chronicle he believed the board was overreacting.

"I'm sure they're sincere and interested in education and want the best for our children," Massullo, R-Lecanto, said. "The Legislature also feels equally as strong that they have the best interest of individual students as well."

Efforts to convince the governor continue to grow. Opponents most recently have latched onto a Sunshine State News online poll asking about the bill, encouraging people to respond. As of 10:15 a.m., the response ran about three quarters agreeing that Scott should use his veto power.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:25am]


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