Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) recently filed Senate Bill 254, titled Education. This bill establishes uniformity among public, private, and charter schools in the state. Currently, there are various inconsistencies in requirements for the three types of schools in Florida Statute.
“There should be some standard of parity in the state no matter what school you choose. There have been stories coming out about some alternative schools and their lack of professionally educated staff, substandard facilities, and limited ability to show academic progress among students,” said Stewart.
SB 254 would mandate that all schools must uniformly comply on multiple standards. The bill would require all instructors to have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree. It would also require private schools to meet the state guidelines on construction, to which public and charter schools already comply. Finally, it would require private schools to follow state academic standards, administer state exams to an eligible percentage of students, receive state grades, and require at least 20 minutes of recess for primary schools.
“I’m not trying to limit the options that alternative choice schools seek to offer, but address the lack of accountability for the sake of all children. Regardless of school choice there should be qualified instructional personnel, and not substandard conditions, which is irresponsible use of tax dollars, and it’s up to the legislature to do something about it. We owe this to all the children.” said Stewart.