HB 855, SB 330 , SB 770 and SB 584

Why is DeSantis dropping common core?  What’s next?  What kind of feedback is he looking for in the survey?

Link to survey:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FLstandardsreview

Quote from February 18th post on http://www.flascience.org/:

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis caused quite a stir when he announced he was directing Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to review the state’s academic standards and suggest revisions by January 1, 2020.

I am worried about what appears to be a trend to use taxpayer money to teach other people’s religion.  Religion should be taught at home and in the religious institutions.  The teaching of religious dogma should NOT be funded with taxpayer monies.

Taxpayer money should be used to make the neighborhood schools GREAT.  We need to fund tutors and social workers and making the neighborhood schools beautiful.

State Senator Travis Hutson (R-St. Johns) introduced a bill  (  SB 770 ) , if passed, would dramatically change traditional four-year graduation requirements for high school students by doing away with the requirement to pass some  math and science courses.  Please oppose the bill.   More options for work force training are needed but not by sacrificing science and math literacy.   A basic science foundation is needed to be a good citizen.  We understand that some kids are quicker to grasp math and science concepts.  Let’s find room in the budget for tutors for those kids that need extra help.  More information can be found at this link: http://www.flascience.org/?p=3441

Hopefully it is self-evident why this is a particularly troublesome part of House Bill 855 :

After exhausting all local policy remedies and  appealing to the State Board of Education, a parent or resident  may sue in circuit court for an injunction to remove such  materials and may recover reasonable attorney fees and costs.

More about HB 855 can be found at http://www.flascience.org/?p=3435

It is worrisome that Florida Citizens Alliance wrote Senate Bill 330  since they have a reputation for wanting the teaching of myths and wild guesses taught in science class.  The use of the term “controversial issues” concerns me.   We want scientific theories and the scientific method taught in science class.  New discoveries are being made constantly.  Will a scientific theory be controversial just because someone doesn’t want to accept the overwhelming evidence?   More about SB 330 at http://www.flascience.org/?p=3431 and https://uniteusdonotdivideus.com/2019/02/04/please-tell-your-rep-to-vote-no-on-sb-330-that-was-introduced-in-the-florida-senate-in-2019/ .

Please oppose any bill that uses the term “controversial issues”  because it appears that it is an attempt to teach wild guesses and myths in science class.  Science is about evidence and scientific theories.  Our goal should be to adapt a set of research-based, up-to-date K–12 science standards.  Quote from https://www.nextgenscience.org/ :

Next Gen Science has developed  standards that give local educators the flexibility to design classroom learning experiences that stimulate students’ interests in science and prepares them for college, careers, and citizenship. Science—and therefore science education—is central to the lives of all Americans. A high-quality science education means that students will develop an in-depth understanding of content and develop key skills—communication, collaboration, inquiry, problem solving, and flexibility—that will serve them throughout their educational and professional lives.

Please support SB 584 as proposed by Senator Cruz.  It aims to reduce the financial abuses by for-profit entities using taxpayer monies for charter schools.  Link to bill:  http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/00584 The voters spoke loud and clear when they voted yes on Amendment 12. And the charter/voucher area is one area where we (the voters) are worried about corruption.

Please tell your rep to vote NO on SB 330 that was introduced in the Florida Senate in 2019

I wonder what founding values Baxley means in this bill he proposed.  Quote from SB 330:

shall strictly adhere to the founding values and principles of the United States in accordance with s. 1003.42

Women and slaves couldn’t vote when the country was founded.  Surely Baxley doesn’t mean those values, does he?   What exactly does he mean?  Also why does he want to put it into law that Keynesian and Hayekian economic theories must be taught?

Screen shot of the whole paragraph:

And here is the link to the s. 1003.42 mentioned above:

https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2018/1003.42

Also what does he mean by controversial? Perhaps it sounds innocuous until you realize that the people that are proposing the bill think evolution and global warming are controversial. And the balanced manner means that they want creationism taught in science class along with evolution. Quote from SB 330 (2019):

(b) Science standards must establish specific curricular content for, at a minimum, the nature of science, earth and space science, physical science, and life science. Controversial theories and concepts shall be taught in a factual, objective, and balanced manner.

Quote from this article at this LINK:

A new bill in the Florida Legislature could affect how science and other subjects are taught; well-established scientific concepts like evolution and human-caused climate change might have to be ‘balanced’ with ideas that haven’t withstood scientific scrutiny.  …  One critic of the bill, Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando), is a newly-elected  state representative in House District 47.

Quote from this article at this LINK

Bill 330 by Senator Baxley from Ocala adds controversial science and economic theories to the curriculum.

Quote from this article at this LINK

Cease embracing debunked theories in the name of balance. We need smart people going forward. Florida doesn’t need more things like SB 330.

 

Florida’s Constitution-high quality system of free public schools

Florida’s Constitution at this LINK

Article IX
SECTION 1. Public education.—
(a) The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education and for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of institutions of higher learning and other public education programs that the needs of the people may require. To assure that children attending public schools obtain a high quality education, the legislature shall make adequate provision to ensure that, by the beginning of the 2010 school year, there are a sufficient number of classrooms so that …..

Quote from November 2018 news article at this LINK :

The Florida Supreme Court  heard arguments in a case that maintains the state is failing to provide a “high quality” public education to all students, as demanded in the state constitution.  …..  The case centers on an amendment to the state constitution added by Florida voters in 1998. That section calls education a “paramount duty” of the state and requires a “high quality system of uniform free public schools.” At issue is whether that clause provides a measurable standard by which courts could judge educational success.

How does one define high quality system of uniform free public schools?

This REPORT seems to have some great ideas.  Here is an excerpt from the report:

This includes teaching novices how to support the development of these skills, attitudes, and habits in their students and how to develop them in themselves—including stress management, the ability to be calm and mindful in the face of stress, and how to be self-aware and able to problem solve, collaborate, and marshal resilience.

To support the use of research and to further refine the evidence base across diverse contexts requires new ways of working for both researchers and practitioners. Achieving this paradigm shift will require the support of funders, including the federal government; research universities, working with school districts and community programs; and the broader research and education community.

A focus on refining the evidence base also requires a commitment from schools and youth development organizations to use data and evidence to maintain strategic partnerships and to learn from each other. One feature of strong school-community collaborations is their ability to partner to share data that can be used to measure and strengthen student performance and to better understand how to support improved learning environments that develop the whole child.

Are schools in poorer neighborhoods equal to public schools in richer neighborhoods? If not, what is the solution?

Quote from article at this LINK

We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of “separate but equal” has no place. …   Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs…are deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

I want to watch this case. I hope they win. A few quotes from article at this LINK

A class-action lawsuit, which is being filed in federal court in Rhode Island Wednesday evening and was provided in advance to The Atlantic, argues that baked into the Constitution is an implicit guarantee of high-quality education—in fact, that the constitutional system could not function were this not the case.

 

What are our goals regarding immigration laws?

I went to a OneJax community supper.  One Jax sends out an invitation to the community. The limit is 12 people per table.   Controversial topic questions are suggested.  One of the topic questions was immigration.  BUT after the dinner,  I walked away with more questions than answers. 
 
1. Is the US overpopulated? If no, then why are we limiting immigration? If yes, then what are the arguments for allowing any immigration? OR to ask the question another way, what are our goals regarding immigration laws?
2. Is the world overpopulated? If yes, do we have an ethical (or perhaps even a selfish) obligation to help reduce world wide overpopulation?
3. Is the US in need of more workers?
4. Are guest worker visas unethical? In other words is restricting a visa to one employer thereby NOT allowing someone to negotiate for better wages unethical?
5. Do the religious clauses of the First Amendment have value?
6. What are the ramifications (pro and con) to birth right citizenship of the 14th amendment? If I correctly understood, someone at our community supper made the claim that the 14th amendment should not automatically grant citizenship to people born in this country and we should work to limit birthright citizenship even more than we do now.
7. Do we have an ethical obligation to help people in other countries? Have our trade, war and/or drug policies harmed people in other countries? If yes, what are our ethical obligations to right that wrong?
8. Do some immigrants (legal and illegal) come here primarily to get on welfare? If I correctly understood, someone at our community supper made the claim that they do and he wanted that kind of immigration stopped.

9. What does assimilation mean? If I correctly understood, someone at our community supper made the claim that immigrants previously made more of an effort to assimilate into our society. I was confused as to what exactly he was advocating for. And I wondered if his view was that diversity isn’t always good. IF someone wants immigrants to be better assimilated into our society, exactly what do they mean? And if assimilation is good thing, what kind of taxpayer funded education opportunities (if any) should be offered?

These articles address the comments made about birthright citizenship at the community supper

Quotes from this  LINK:

Like any other traveler to the U.S., pregnant women must also fill out an ESTA application form prior to arriving in the country. However, women who are intent on giving birth in the U.S. with a tourist visa often also misrepresent or directly lie about the advanced state of their pregnancy in order to connect with groups that help women take advantage of American citizenship laws.  Birth tourism and traveling to the U.S. specifically to give birth are considered technically illegal in the United States. In fact, in March 2015, authorities in California raided a series of “maternity centers” that helped wealthy, pregnant Chinese women travel to the United States to give birth to their children in the hopes of gaining American citizenship. The women reportedly paid $50,000 for travel and lodging in the United States while they waited to have their children.  While there are no set penalties for women who participate in birth tourism, the U.S. is reportedly considering placing limitations on its unconditional birth citizenship. Moreover, if a woman is caught intending to participate in birth tourism, this can lead to other consequences, including being barred for life from the United States.

Quote from this LINK:

Citizenship birthright remains available to any person born on US soil, regardless of the circumstances of his or her birth. A number of attempts have been made, particularly in the last 20 years, to reform this situation. However, these reforms have remained unsuccessful. Most opposition points out that laws eliminating this practice will most likely harm the child more than the parents, making it an unpopular law to try to pass.

The so-called “anchor baby” does not guarantee immediate citizenship for the parents or ensure continued residency in the US for the child. In most instances, while the child will have US citizenship, the child would not be able to live alone in the US until reaching the age of majority. Thus, in most cases, the parent(s) and child are returned to their country of origin, and the child has the right to return to the US as a citizen after turning 18 (or can visit anytime before that).

American emergency care laws say that hospitals cannot turn people away, regardless of nationality or ability to pay.

Quote from this LINK

Ekaterina was one of dozens of Russian birth tourists NBC News spoke to over the past four months about a round-trip journey that costs tens of thousands of dollars and takes them away from home for weeks or months. … Why do they come? … “And the doctors, the level of education,” Kuznetsova added. …. Condo buildings that bear the Trump name are the most popular for the out-of-town obstetric patients,

As president, Donald Trump has indicated he is opposed to so-called chain migration, which gives U.S. citizens the right to sponsor relatives. [Yet Trump’s wife Melania sponsored her parents to come here:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/09/nyregion/melania-trumps-parents-become-us-citizens.html]   …. Reshetova came to Miami to have her first child, hiring an agency to help arrange her trip. The services — which can include finding apartments and doctors and obtaining visas — don’t come cheap. She expects to pay close to $50,000, and some packages run as high as $100,000. … There is no official data on birth tourism in the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies, which wants stricter limits on immigration, estimates there are 36,000 babies born in the U.S. to foreign nationals a year, though the numbers could be substantially lower.

This article addresses the comment made about illegal and legal immigrants coming here in order to get welfare benefits.

Quote from this LINK

One of the most effective ploys by those attempting to vilify undocumented immigrants is to assert that those immigrants are stealing benefits from Americans. Donald Trump has deployed this falsehood on multiple occasions both in his speeches and on Twitter long before becoming president. It’s an insinuation quite divorced from reality.   …  Bill Clinton signed a bill over 20 years earlier in 1996: The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, or “IIRIRA.” Congress legislated that not only would undocumented immigrants not receive welfare, but legal immigrants wouldn’t get benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid or money for child assistance until they’ve lived here at least five years and even seven years after their arrival.  …  According to a 2010 report by the American Immigration Council, undocumented immigrants pay as much as $90 billion in taxes but receive just $5 billion in benefits. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) estimated that in 2010 undocumented immigrants paid as much as $10.6 billion in state and local taxes alone.  …  In fact, given IRS estimates that some 50-75 percent of undocumented immigrants pay taxes, we could actually reduce deficits by providing those immigrants a path to legal immigration and enabling them all to pay taxes. That’s right. By ensuring so many undocumented immigrants stay in the shadows, we significantly reduce the amount of available taxable income.

This article addresses the comment that immigrants previously made more of an effort to assimilate into our society.

Quote from this LINK

I will argue here that when Americans say they want immigrants to assimilate, they may think they know what they want, but in fact they don’t understand the concept or its place in our history.  Indeed, if Americans better understood the process of assimilation, they might well ask for something else.  ….  What I propose is to scrutinize what is typically understood by the term assimilation and then contrast it with a more adequate conceptualization of the process. …  Assimilation has several different dimensions—economic, social, cultural, and political.  [The following is a controversial assertion, eh?]  Based on her study of 77 immigrant-impacted American cities from 1877 to 1914, Olzak rejects the conventional view that intergroup conflict is caused by segregation. Instead, she argues that intergroup competition and conflict resulted from occupational desegregation. In other words, tensions are caused not by the isolation of ethnic groups but by the weakening of boundaries and barriers between groups. … Once again, we are reminded that assimilation is a multidimensional process in which gains along one dimension may not be neatly paralleled by progress along others. …  Catholic schools originally established in the nineteenth century by churchmen eager to thwart the assimilation of Catholics.  … we need to get beyond the romance of immigration enthusiasts as well as the melodrama of immigration alarmists. We need to introduce a sense of realism about how we think about these issues  ….  Do we honestly believe that disenfranchised immigrants can be introduced into a dynamic, competitive social and political system without their interests being put at risk?  Our immigration policy is arguably a social experiment with enormous potential benefits, but also enormous risks.

Some of my other thoughts on immigration

Before we make e-verify a requirement, we need to work out the kinks. If we do mandatory e-verify then it needs to be coupled with a path to get people documented. In response to this part of this ARTICLE :

Recently, the Western Growers Association and California Farm Bureau Federation, among others, blocked a bill that would have made E-Verify mandatory, despite several pro-business concessions. As a result, workers from economies devastated by U.S. agriculture will continue to be invited in with the promise of work in order to be cheaply and illegally exploited. Lacking full legal rights, these noncitizens will be impossible to unionize and will be kept in constant fear of being arrested and criminalized.

I really HATE the guest worker visas that tie a worker to one company. If we need immigrants, then the work visa should be renewable and transferable and offer a clear path to citizenship.  Quote from this ARTICLE:

The urgency around that shortage was clear at a congressional hearing last week when senators pressed Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on additional visas for seasonal foreign workers.
A few quotes from this ARTICLE:
When we talk about enforcing immigration laws, it’s important to be quite specific about what we mean.  Sometimes, this immigration enforcement is explicitly violent, like when Border Patrol officials unleash teargas (a chemical weapon banned in warfare) on toddlers, when they rip children from their mothers’ arms, when they kick women huddled on the concrete floors of border cells and scream at them that they are animals. Other times it’s something humdrum and largely invisible: the border guard who calmly tells an asylum seeker at a port of entry that there is “no more room” in the U.S., the judge who silently decides that the terrified person in front of them hasn’t done quite enough to deserve a favorable exercise of discretion, the police officer who has a funny habit of always stopping cars with Hispanic-looking drivers, the countless bureaucrats who review immigration applications and deny them without explanation. All of these acts, from the monstrous to the mundane, have real-world effects on individual people.
Quote from this ARTICLE:
George Washington embraced a vision for an open America that could almost be read today as a form of deep idealism or altruism. “America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions,” he told newly arrived Irishmen in 1783. He assured them they’d be “welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.”

What does “promote the general welfare” mean?

Here is the preamble to our Constitution:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Quoting Warren and Brandeis from this LINK:

Later, there came a recognition of man’s spiritual nature, of his feelings and his intellect. Gradually the scope of these legal rights broadened  …..the right to enjoy life, — the right to be let alone; the right to liberty secures the exercise of extensive civil privileges  ….

Quote from this LINK

In United States v. Butler,  Justice Roberts wrote for the Court: “Since the foundation of the Nation sharp differences of opinion have persisted as to the true interpretation of the phrase.   ….   Hamilton  maintained the clause confers a power …..  the power of Congress to authorize expenditure of public moneys for public purposes is not limited by the direct grants of legislative power found in the  Constitution.” Appropriations for subsidies and for an ever-increasing variety of “internal improvements” constructed by the Federal Government, had their beginnings in the administrations of Washington and Jefferson.

In United States v. Gettysburg Electric Ry., the Court invoked “the great power of taxation to be exercised for the common defence and general welfare” to sustain the right of the Federal Government to acquire land within a state for use as a national park.

I don’t understand why Congress can’t pass a law making female genital mutilation illegal. What do you think?  Quote from the New York Times article at this LINK :

“As laudable as the prohibition of a particular type of abuse of girls may be,” the judge wrote, prosecutors failed to show that the federal government had the authority to bring the charges, and he noted that regulating practices like this is essentially a state responsibility.  ….. Judge Bernard Friedman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that Congress did not have the authority to pass the law  ….  Shelby Quast said her group, Equality Now, is urging federal prosecutors to appeal the decision. “We are confident that Congress had the authority to pass this FGM law,” she said.

Are the charter schools reporting on their techniques that they hypothesize are working?

Any chance you could help me decipher this?  The enrollment dropped from 330 to 296 from the 2014-2015 to the 2015-2016 school year for this charter school (see links below).  How can I tell where those students went?  Did they move out of the district?  Did they go back to the neighborhood school?  If they transferred, did the money stay with the charter school?

This is just one example.  I know it would be anecdotal BUT what was the cause of the school performance grade increasing from a D to a B?  Was it merely kicking out the poor performing students or is the school using techniques that the neighborhood school could adopt?

 
That above link says that this school had 296 students as of October and rec’d a
2016-17 School Performance Grade: B  

http://doeweb-prd.doe.state.fl.us/eds/nclbspar/year1516/nclb1516.cfm?dist_schl=16_1131#ayp
That above link says that this school had 296 students as of October and rec’d a
2015-16 School Performance Grade: B
That above link says that the same school had 330 as of that October and rec’d a
2014-15 School Performance Grade: D
Originally I thought the idea of charter schools was to experiment with various teaching techniques.  IF a innovative technique proved valuable, then could it be incorporated into the neighborhood schools?  Are the charter schools reporting on their techniques that they hypothesize are working?  IS the technique merely to kick out the poor performing kids?

Do Charter Schools have value to the school district?

https://www.jacksonville.com/opinion/20180930/guest-column-wayman-academy-proves-value-of-charter-schools  
I am bothered that the guest columnist (see link above) doesn’t offer substantiation for the claims. Excerpts from above link which is a guest column by Simaran Bakshi — principal of Wayman Academy of the Arts:

[Where is the link to substantiate this claim?]  A comprehensive report from the Florida Department of Education found that charters produce better outcomes for students and are more successful at narrowing achievement gaps for minority students.

[Why didn’t she stay in the school system and help all the neighborhood schools?]After turning around a failing district-run elementary school, I moved to Wayman Academy. At a public charter school, I have more power to improve outcomes for families and engage teachers.

[What strict system does she mean? ] I am proud that we have a strict system that holds charter schools accountable for their performance and finances.

The guest column by Simaran was in response to this article:
https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20180917/report-questions-charter-school-system-proposes-changes
Quotes  from that Sept 17 2018 article:

A government watchdog group called Florida’s growing system of privately-run public charter schools wasteful and said it sometimes gives rise to self-dealing and profiteering.

“Some public officials who decide education policy and their families are profiting personally from ownership and employment with the charter school industry, creating the appearance of a conflict of interest,” the study says. “Lax regulation of charter schools has created opportunities for financial mismanagement and criminal corruption. … Inasmuch as charter schools can be an inefficient and wasteful option for ‘school choice,’ the legislature should evaluate the appropriate amount of funding the state can afford to offer in educational choices to parents and students.”

Why is this? What is the attraction? Would the money be better spent by improving the neighborhood school? Another quote from article:

Statewide about 10 percent, or about 296,000 students of Florida’s 2.8 million children, attend 650 charter schools.

When for-profit charters close, the public money spent on lease payments and building improvements is lost, because the school district doesn’t own their buildings, the study said.  Florida charter schools received $346 million in capital outlay funds alone in 2016-17, surpassing what traditional schools received some years, the study said. That doesn’t include the hundreds of millions more charter schools receive for operations and management.

Since its start in 1998, the charter school industry has spent more than $13 million to influence state education policy in Florida through contributions to political campaigns, the study said. Since 2007, the industry spent another $8 million on legislative lobbying.

Link to another article about the Integrity Florida report:
http://lwveducation.com/integrity-florida-nails-the-for-profit-charter-industry/

A quote from this article https://www.jacksonville.com/nationworld/20181114/former-duval-charter-school-operator-gets-20-years-for-fraud :

May’s company, Newpoint Education Partners, operated charter schools in Escambia, Bay, Broward, Duval, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. In Duval, that includes San Jose Academy and San Jose Preparatory High on Sunbeam Road.  Marcus May was sentenced to pay a $5 million fine for using charter schools to steer millions of dollars into his personal accounts.  May was also sentenced to 20 years in prison.

 

Links to two more articles about the Amendments that are on the Florida ballot

This is a link to Florida Tax Watch’s Voter Guide:

https://floridataxwatch.org/Research/Full-Library/ArtMID/34407/ArticleID/17819/2018-Voter-Guide

I am glad that they recommend YES on # 4 and # 11.

They recommend a yes on #2. I have run into a few people with rental property that want us to vote yes on #2. The LWV thinks this is better done via legislation so the LWV recommends a no on #2.

I agree with the Florida Tax Watch on their explanation for a no on #3. I voted no on #3. Quote from the Florida Tax Watch link:

Gambling has always been a contentious issue in Florida, as evidenced by the Legislature not being able to pass a gambling bill for several sessions. While the amendment would likely rule out casinos for the near future, public sentiment could change. And while the amendment would make the citizens’ initiative the exclusive method to bring casino gambling to the ballot, it must be remembered that the initiative process is the least transparent method to publicly vet proposed constitutional amendments. It is easy to envision a well-funded, pro-casino group getting enough signatures to bring a casino proposal to the ballot. This would still allow the special interests supporters want to keep out of the process to craft a proposal, but there would be no input or deliberation by the Legislature.

I agree with their explanation of what a NO vote would mean BUT I wish they had suggested a yes on #9. Quote from article:

A NO VOTE on #9 MEANS
Piece 1: There would be no constitutional safeguard against offshore drilling for oil and natural gas on lands beneath all state waters. Any legislative prohibition could easily be lifted.
Piece 2: Floridians will continue to be subjected to second-hand vapor when they attend movies or restaurants and other public places.

It seems nefarious to me that they are recommending a yes on #10. Why can’t a county decide if they want these positions elected or appointed? The voters in the county should decide. Vote NO on #10. Quote from article:

Eight charter counties (Brevard, Broward, Clay, Duval, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola, and Volusia) have changed the manner of selection of at least one of the five constitutional officers or restructured or abolished at least one of the five constitutional offices and transferred their duties to another county office. The ballot measure, if approved, would require these eight charter counties to amend their charters to: (1) reflect that sheriff, tax collector, property appraiser,
supervisor of elections, and clerk of circuit court be elected by the voters of that county,

Here is a link to another comprehensive description of the amendments:

https://ballot.votesaveamerica.com/v/measures/878

I don’t disagree with their description of #11 but I wish they had made a stronger statement on why you need to vote YES on #11 like this article does:
I find the link’s explanation of amendment 6 inadequate. Here is a better explanation on why you need to vote NO on 6.  Around minute 45, they tell you why to vote no on #6:

I voted yes on 4,9,11,12 and 13.  I voted no on the rest.  IF you’re still on the fence, please let me try to convince you that I’m right.

Please repeal 776.032

I do hope that in the November 2018 election, Florida will turn the GOP controlled Florida Congress blue.   And I hope the new blue Florida Congress will make it a priority to overturn this law that was passed in 2017.

Here is the link to the bill that we want the new blue Florida Congress to repeal: 
 
When this law passed, defendants no longer had to present evidence to prove their claim of self-defense. That’s insane, isn’t it? This bill needs to be overturned.  This is a 2017 article before the law passed and was signed into law by Rick Scott:
 
You can check and see who voted yes on this awful bill at this link:
 
Quotes from this article:
The 2017 version of the “stand your ground” law shifts the burden of proof to the prosecution after the defendant has made a prima facie claim of justified use of force, and it requires that the state (prosecutors) meet this burden of proof with clear and convincing evidence,”
 

Information on the judges that are on my Nov 2018 ballot

Article about the judges that are on our ballot:

http://news.wjct.org/post/northeast-florida-voters-asked-whether-retain-judges

I decided NO to retain Judge Alan Lawson based on quote from this 2009 ARTICLE :

“The Governor is considering four nominees. Though we have more to learn about these nominees, we do know that Florida Right to Life, Florida Family Action, the National Rifle Association and the ultra right-wing American Family Association have begun to rally around the anti-choice Judge Alan Lawson.

Quotes from this article ARTICLE about Judge Lawson:

 

Religious conservatives and the National Rifle Association are backing 5th District Appeals Court Judge C. Alan Lawson ….. The Florida Family Policy Council, a conservative religious organization, sent members an e-mail headlined, “Gay activists and Planned Parenthood publicly oppose Judge Alan Lawson
….Equality Florida sounded its own warning to its members:  “The ultra right-wing American Family Association has begun to rally around Judge Alan Lawson … flooding the Governor’s office with calls, faxes, and e-mails. We cannot let the American Family Association decide the make-up of the Florida Supreme Court!”

I decided NO to retain Judge Allen Winsor based on quote from this ARTICLE:

“Mr. Winsor is a young, conservative ideologue who has attempted to restrict voting rights, LGBT equality, reproductive freedom, environmental protection, criminal defendants’ rights and gun safety,” the letter said. “He does not possess the neutrality and fair-mindedness necessary to serve in a lifetime position as a federal judge.”

We also should vote NO on Judge Allen Winsor to send a message to Bill Nelson that we support his decision to vote NO on Trump’s nomination of Winsor to a Federal District Court.  Details found HERE.  

I decided to vote NO to retain  Kemmerly Thomas based on this quote from this ARTICLE

A statewide gun control advocacy group is criticizing a decision by two judges to buy tickets to a fundraiser for a group affiliated with the National Rifle Association.  The Times/Herald reported that judges Clay Roberts and Kemmerly Thomas of the First District Court of Appeal confirmed they bought tables at the Sept. 15 event, a dinner and auction organized by “Friends of the NRA” that benefited the NRA Foundation, a public charity.

If you find it bizarre that the NRA Foundation is called a charity (as I did), here is a quote from this  ARTICLE :  NRA Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization “designed to promote firearms ….”

Part of me wants to vote NO on any judge associated with the Federalist Society since the news has been very enlightening about Garsuch and Kavanaugh’s association with the Federalist Society and what that will mean to the country.  This is a quote from this ARTICLE

Judge Harvey Jay and Judge Stephanie W. Ray were both appointed to the First District Court of Appeal  by Governor Rick Scott.   Six of the judges Scott has named to appellate courts since taking office either list themselves as members of the Federalist Society or have been on the agenda to appear before one of the first two annual conferences of the Florida chapters of the society. Dorothy Easley, a past chair of the Appellate Practice Section of The Florida Bar, said most judges at the appellate courts appear to be making decisions based on the law, not the governor who appoints them.

https://ballotpedia.org/Bradford_Thomas   says that Judge Brad Thomas was appointed by  Governor Jeb Bush.