I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Status Quo "Takes it on the Chin" In Tallahassee Yesterday!

I was proud as a duly elected constitutional officer, school board member, and immediate past-president of the Florida Coalition of School Board Members to be able to speak yesterday at the Florida Senate Community Affairs Committee in Tallahassee.

This committee was considering numerous bills, but one was of particular interest to me.  SB 1426 is the membership bill that will allow school board members, individually, the ability to "opt-out" of paying high priced, taxpayer funded "association" fees.  The discussion of this bill begins at minute 9:00 of this video.   The committee moved the bill favorably after several speakers spoke in support of the bill.  One member of the gallery, the newly appointed executive director of the FSBA, attempted to explain the reasons behind the school board association joining forces with unions ans special interest groups to sue the state.  Ahe was grilled by the committee over this lawsuit attempting to kill tax credit scholarships.  It was a great day in Tallahassee.  The Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Buzz Blog covered the meeting.  from the Miami Herald:

"The bill also makes it optional for members to join associations that receive tax dollars -- giving school boards, for instance, the option to opt out of the FSBA. That provision, in particular, is pleasing to the Florida Coalition of School Board Members, a separate group from the school boards association that was formed last year and whose members embrace conservative principles.  Coalition President Jeff Bergosh, an Escambia County school board member, said some school board members' voices are "shut out" when the FSBA acts on behalf of the majority of its members.  "There’s a great number of school board members whose voices get quashed every year," Bergosh told senators. "I don’t want my

 dollars going to an organization that sues you after you duly enact legislation."
The Status Quo in Education takes
it on the Chin, 1-26-2016
Tallahassee Florida
Republicans -- including House sponsor Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, R-Orlando -- reject critics' claims the legislation would quash an organization's right to sue. They said member associations could instead seek private dollars to fund their lawsuits.
"It doesn’t remove the prerogative of organization to sue anyone," said Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, who spearhead the House legislation last year. "It simply states that tax dollars shouldn’t be recycled to be used against the same people it was collected from."

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