Chastises Florida Board of Education for Hypocrisy and Inconsistency
State Senator Gary Farmer Jr. (D-Lighthouse Point) issued the following statement following today’s Florida Board of Education decision to cut additional funding from Broward County Schools:
“I stand with the students, teachers, staff, and parents of Broward County in support of the School Board continuing to represent their best interests. The Broward County School Board is constitutionally empowered and obligated to ensure a safe education for our students, and their COVID-19 health and safety protocols have done exactly that.
“Unlike the Broward County School Board, the Florida Board of Education has continued to take steps that actively harm Florida’s students, teachers, school staff, and their families. Earlier this week it was reported that the Florida Department of Education (under the supervision of the Florida Board of Education) is the only state education authority that failed to submit a plan for federal COVID-19 relief funds. As a result more than $2.3B in aid has been left unavailable to our underfunded public schools. Not only has the Florida Board of Education failed to provide our schools with the funding that they need and deserve, but today they voted to strip even more funding from Broward and Alachua schools, ironically citing the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as grounds for doing so.
“The hypocrisy and inconsistency of citing the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution as grounds to oppose federal aid to schools in Broward and Alachua County, while simultaneously violating Florida’s State Constitution which explicitly grants responsibility and authority to local school boards over the operation of public schools including the mask policies in question, is galling and outrageous. Unfortunately, all too often consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds and petty statesmen.
“The Florida Board of Education has made it clear that they are nothing more than a body of political bullies acting on behalf of an even bigger bully in the Governor’s Mansion. I applaud the Broward School Board for once again sending the correct message to our kids, that it is never okay to let anyone – even the Governor of Florida – bully you out of doing what it right for children and your community.”