Please use the term “publicly funded schools” not “public schools” and then add a descriptive adjective such as charter, private, neighborhood, magnet, district-run, or all

It isn’t always clear what legislators mean by “public schools” now that they are funding charter schools and private schools with taxpayer dollars.

Legislators need to contemplate why ALL publicly funded schools aren’t included when the legislature makes rules for the district-run schools. If the rules aren’t necessary, then why make the district-run schools follow them? If the rules are necessary, then ALL schools that receive taxpayer dollars should be required to follow them.  People throw around the terms “choice” and “public” when they are talking about schools. But what do they mean? Legislators need to use the term “publicly funded school” not “public school” so it’s clear what they are talking about.

I wish we’d all want all the publicly funded neighborhood schools to be great. I wish we’d fund each one so they would have adequate staff to serve the community, employ tutors, offer vocational, music, art, debate, lots of choices within the publicly funded neighborhood school.

The majority of the taxpayers should also have a choice about how our tax money (public funds) is being spent. We don’t want our public money funding schools that discriminate or refuse to teach skills that help us to get along with each other.

Last year’s bill HB 463 (implicit bias training) should have been changed so it applied to all publicly funded schools.

There is a reason for Article 1 Section 3 of the Florida Constitution

Religious freedom.—There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free exercise thereof. Religious freedom shall not justify practices inconsistent with public morals, peace or safety. No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.

The below was posted in a previous year so these bills aren’t 2021 bill numbers:
Did Kimberly Daniels want her bible study class to be a required elective in all publicly funded schools? My guess is no. Publicly funded schools aren’t the place to teach religion. There is a reason for Article 1 Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Hopefully her bill will die before reaching the full House.

The sponsor of the bill needs to suggest this amendment to HB 463:

***Each charter school governing board shall require charter school instructional personnel to take the training specified at 943.1716 and 1000.05.

***Any private school receiving taxpayer dollars must require members of its instructional personnel to take the training specified at 943.1716 and 1000.05.

Summary of HB 463 which amends 943.1716 and 1000.05:

Implicit Bias Training: Requires Criminal Justice Standards & Training Commission to include implicit bias training in instruction dealing with diverse populations; requires SBE to develop requirements for training for all K-12 instructional personnel & administrators in recognizing & overcoming implicit bias; requesting Supreme Court develop training requirements for judges on implicit bias.

2020 SB 184 and SB 56 aim to make non-discrimination laws apply to all publicly funded schools.

2020 SB 154 (Human trafficking) and HB 463 (implicit bias training) need to be changed so they apply to all publicly funded schools.

I spoke about SB 184, SB 56, and SB 154 when I spoke to the Duval Legislative Delegation. I had not yet read HB 463 at that time. Here is the link to my two minutes:

Here is the link to my two minutes when I spoke during the public comment period at the FLDOE meeting making a similar point:

HB 463 is an important bill. The Nickel Boys by Colton Whitehead was based on a true story.  It should make all of us wonder how to prevent the cruel incidents (on which the story was based) from happening again.

A quote from an interview that Colette Bancroft had with the author of The Nickel Boys :

In 2014, they were exhuming the grave sites in Tallahassee, Florida. … When I found Ben Montgomery’s reporting, it was the summer of Ferguson, of Michael Brown being shot, of Eric Garner being killed in Staten Island. It was the same indifference to black lives, to the poor, to people with no power who cannot defend themselves. … That kind of brutality occurs whenever powerless children are failed by the system that’s supposed to protect them.

Link to article:

Link to article about the incident on which the novel was based:  

Any school receiving taxpayer dollars needs to follow at least some of the same rules that the publicly funded neighborhood schools must follow. They certainly should have to follow the rules mentioned in SB 184, SB 56, SB 154 and HB 463.

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