Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has reportedly told multiple people that he wants to drive 2 million children out of public schools by the end of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ first term. That, of course, underlines the obvious: Florida doesn’t care at all about school choice. It just hates public schools. Corcoran and DeSantis and Kelli Stargel and the rest believe in school blackmail — not school choice — through selective use of fraudulent test data and fraudulent school grade accountability.
“I met several months ago with the commissioner of education and he made no bones about it. He sees nothing wrong with cutting our traditional public school system by two-thirds,” said Leon County Superintendent Rocky Hanna.
The proof of this is coming before Kelli Stargel’s Senate Education Committee tomorrow, in a suddenly scheduled hearing in House Bill 7079, which was fast-tracked last week.
Through this bill, Ron DeSantis, Richard Corcoran, and Kelli Stargel are mounting a full frontal attack on your right as parent to choose and keep a neighborhood public school that you like. (Kelli, if you don’t support this bill, say so loudly. And I’ll note it. But you’ve supported every other bill to blackmail public school parents, ever.) HB 7079:
- Changes the fraudulent school grade formula yet again
- Changes definition of “failure” for schools, again, to include many, many more.
- Increases punishments of children and teachers in neighborhood schools so it can try to drive them out.
House Bill 7079 is nothing more than DeSantis and Stargel and Corcoran’s attempt to punish you, as parents. It seeks to blackmail your kids out of the Dixieland Elementaries of the world and into the dangerous Kingdom Preps of the world, where none of these rules apply and where there is no oversight.
Don’t be distracted by the election year posturing of teacher pay increases.
Corcoran and Manny Diaz and Kelli Stargel and the rest are just trying to buy off some silence while they maneuver to destroy your right to choose a neighborhood public school for your children. These people hate choice; and they hate parents who choose neighborhood schools. Here are the phone numbers for the committee members. By all means, call to try stop them.
- Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. (R), Chair (850) 487-5036
- Senator Bill Montford (D), Vice Chair (850) 487-5003
- Senator Dennis Baxley (R) (352) 789-6720
- Senator Lori Berman (D) (850) 487-5031
- Senator Janet Cruz (D) (850) 487-5018
- Senator Keith Perry (R) (850) 487-5008
- Senator David Simmons (R) (850) 487-5009
- Senator Kelli Stargel (R) (850) 487-5022
But don’t expect them to listen.
The key will be for School Boards and districts and parents to defy this if it passes. The key will to be to inflict as many political and moral consequences — in as many different legal and moral ways as possible — on any local legislators who votes to kill your choice for a neighborhood school.
This is all a fraud aimed at hurting your kids and serving them up to Pastor Tigers. There are lines that have to be drawn; and risks that have to be taken with something so fundamental at stake. The Polk County School District’s motto is not “Richard Corcoran First” or “Kelli Stargel First” or “Manny Diaz First” or “Grifters and Criminals First” or “Pastor Tiger First.”
It’s “Students First.” And I take that very seriously, seriously enough to risk whatever punishment people can cook up for me personally. I will be discussing this at our next board meeting.