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HB 7069: Too much, too wrong, too quickly

When it comes to HB 7069, so much for “open government.”

This bill was concocted by the leadership of the Florida House and Senate, and given to the other legislators with little time to read, let alone study.

It’s 274 pages long and covers everything from sunscreen, to recess, to Algebra 2, to teacher pay.

Broward County School Board members were so incensed, they sued the Legislature, saying the bill violates the state‚Äôs single-subject rules. St. Lucie, Volusia, Lee, and Bay counties joined them. Palm Beach unanimously supported the lawsuit. Duval is thinking of joining, and so are many other counties. The Manatee County School Board has come out in opposition to the bill and is discussing joining Broward’s lawsuit.

The most atrocious part of the bill is the millions of dollars being taken from district schools and given to charter schools for construction. Districts are having to postpone the building of much-needed new schools, and some will see their construction cots increase because they’ll need to borrow.

In Sarasota, one elementary school has already said it will need to delay building by a year. The school hasn’t yet determined if taxpayers will have to borrow instead.

HB 7069 was created too fast with no input from stakeholders. Our legislators have gone too far this time. We are a democracy, not an oligarchy. We must take our government back.

Patricia Gardner, president of the Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association

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