Monday, May 09, 2005

Victory for Florida teachers and students

Typically, government place mandates on schools while giving little or no money to pay for them. The reverse just happened in Florida:

Florida's public schools got money, but little else out of the 2005 legislative session that ended Friday. And that's fine with them.

Two months ago it looked as though mammoth education reform was headed their way, a nonstop train of changes that included more private school vouchers, middle school graduation requirements, new regulations on the teaching of history, stricter rules on teaching reading in high school, a teacher pay-for-performance plan, and even a requirement that the Golden Rule be part of character education classes.

...But it was all sent tumbling down late Friday night by a Republican rebuke of Bush in the Senate after South Florida school districts got stiffed by new funding formulas and a clash of ideology over criminal background screening of teachers in private schools that take vouchers.

No class-size changes, no new vouchers, no middle school reform. None of Bush's education initiatives passed.

Florida, you are -- for this one brief, shining moment -- the envy of teachers around the nation. Enjoy it while it lasts.

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