Letters to the Editor

New bill devastates public schools

With the signing of House Bill 7069, Gov. Rick Scott, along with the leadership in the state legislature, created many problems for Miami-Dade schools. This bill was a dishonest play by legislators disguised as altruism, but it is the exact opposite.

It is unconscionable that legislators considered, proposed, and approved legislation that diverts money from public education to support profit-making corporate entities that are benefiting financially through charter schools.

We shouldn’t forget that in 2015, Florida led the nation in charter school closures, giving those owners the ability to financially benefit by selling off those properties, while not giving a dime back to the tax payers. This is the very definition of corporate welfare — the kind they claim to so vehemently oppose.

Meanwhile, traditional public schools are increasingly being forced to do more with less.

The district has estimated that in year one, the impact is a loss of $25 million for the maintenance of public schools. That increases to $60 million in 2020-2021. This means our schools will struggle to remain modern, safe, and clean places for our teachers and students.

Even as the school district continues to outperform the state and other districts, it will be placed in a difficult financial position, undermining our academic gains and impressive progress. On top of this, the new law allows our best teachers to be terminated for no reason. The impact on children could be devastating.

While HB 7069 includes a few good items, the negative impact far outweighs the good.

United Teachers of Dade will continue to voice opposition to this bill and stand up for students, teachers and the community. It’s time for state leaders to take another look, find resources, and fix HB 7069 to protect our best teachers as well as taxpayers’ investments.

Karla Hernandez-Mats,

president,

United Teachers of Dade

  Comments