Archive | October, 2012


Last Day To Register, Check Your Status Right Now

  Today is the last day to register to vote. Click here and check your status right now. You have until 5 p.m. to correct any errors or register to vote. Our children cannot afford for us to “sit this one out.”

There are 4 Amendments on the ballot that will negatively affect Florida Public Education.

AMENDMENTS 3,4,5 & 8: Bad for Florida Public Education

Here’s the run-down:

Amendment 3 or TABOR will cost the state $11 B in lost revenue during the first 10 years. It uses a formula to “cap” or severely limit the amount of revenue Florida can spend on services.

Colorado, the only state to pass Amendment 3/TABOR, went from prosperity to a paralyzing inability to fund police, fire, medical services and education for its citizens. Colorado bill sponsors and citizens have spent the past 10 years trying to undo the damage caused by TABOR.

Do not be misled by the Amendment 3/TABOR promise to give overflow revenue to public education. Under Amendment 3/TABOR there will never be any extra money for anyone, ever. Capping Florida state revenue at 2013 crisis rates will profoundly impact our ability to provide basics such as safety, education and infrastructure improvements.

Unintended consequences: Future Florida lawmakers and voters will be restricted by a short-sighted and unsuccessful formula that affects every single investment decision related to prosperity and growth.

Amendment 8 is about Religious Funding not Freedom.

Amendment 8 will cost taxpayers another $2.6 Billion every year to pay tuition for Florida’s 400,000 private religious school students.  It repeals the ban on public dollars for religious funding and destroys the separation between church and state in Florida.

Amendment 8 goes beyond the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, using the Florida Constitution to create an entitlement for any group who claims to be a “religion” to receive unlimited government “benefits.”  Fraud will result when anyone can call themselves a church and get tax dollars with zero accountability.

Unintended consequences: Florida taxpayers may end up funding radical “religious” schools that go against commonly held beliefs.

Amendment 5 transfers direct control to the Florida Senate of the selection and final approval of Supreme Court Justices.  Amendment 5 alters Article V of the Florida Constitution to significantly erode authority of the Judical Branch and reduces the role of the Judicial Qualifications Commission – a 40-year system of peer nomination meant to ensure that justices are appointed on the basis of merit not political consideration.

Unintended consequences: Allowing the Senate to control the Supreme Court upsets the balance of power giving politics an inappropriate role in future court cases, including disputes over education legislation.

Amendment 4 reduces the cap on property tax assessments for non­‐homesteaded properties from 10 to 5 percent. The projected lost revenue to local governments is $1 billion after three years. Public school funding will be hit the hardest since all funding is based on property taxes.

Click here to read more about the amendments on the 2012 ballot.

P.S. Politicians placed 12 constitutional amendments on Florida’s 2012 General Election Ballot at the expense of millions of taxpayer dollars.

None of these amendments were driven by voter request. This is a case of politicians seeking to shape policy by altering the Florida Constitution.

Florida voters should tread lightly before choosing to alter the state constitution at the request of state legislators.


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Leading School Board Member and High-Stakes Testing Opponent Applies for Florida Ed Commish Post

Rick Roach FDOE Commissioner Candidate

October 1, 2012

By: Bob Sikes – Scathing Purple Musings

You gotta hand to, for chutzpah. Read this from Jeff Solochek in Gradebook:

Rick Roach, a veteran educator and Orange School Board member since 1998, has contacted friends to let them know he will apply for Florida education commissioner. He also asked them to back his candidacy, if they agree with his views.

“I have long been concerned with the direction of education in our state and I have been a very vocal critic as many of you know. So, I have decided to either stop complaining or step up and do something about it,” he wrote. “I feel I am highly qualified as my resume will attest, passionate about the job as my letter of application should show, and feel confident I could make a very positive difference for our children, the future leaders of Florida. Please read my letter of application and my resume. If you agree with me, it would help if you could write a letter of support.”

Roach has lately made headlines for his opposition to the FCAT, which was first discussed in a Washington Post column. Time will tell how his application for commissioner will be viewed. See his letter and resume attached below. His would be the 17th candidacy announced publicly so far. The State Board of Education earlier this week extended its search through November, to give top candidates more time to apply.

Complete article:

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