From Kenric Ward of Sunshine State News:
Citing the Florida Constitution, a statewide tea party group is calling on Gov. Rick Scott to bow out of the “Race to the Top” competition for federal education funding.
“This grant not only costs Florida taxpayers more in the long-term, it will remove quality control from the legislative process, and it goes against the Florida state Constitution,” Tea Party Network Chairwoman Patricia Sullivan stated in a letter to Scott.
“It will drive up the cost of child care and Pre-K, forcing many private establishments to close, thus reducing availability for all Florida families. With the new standards in place, and the private facilities terminated, the state will then be compelled to fill the higher-priced void, all on the backs of the taxpayers.
“No less significantly, it will allow a regulatory agency to have control over family child-care, nannies, etc. with the power to circumvent the legislative process and therefore have no oversight,” Sullivan stated.
Section 4 of the state Constitution stipulates that school boards “shall operate, control and supervise all free public schools within the school district and determine the rate of school district taxes within the limits prescribed herein.”
The Tea Party Network, a consortium of 70 tea-party organizations statewide, argues that “for states to regain control of education and bring it back to the local level, they must stop taking federal money and the strings that come with the money.”
Scott’s office was not immediately available for comment.
I need to give a special thanks to the Tea Party Networks director of legislative affairs, Henry Kelley for the heads up.
Scott and his republican allies in the legislature aren’t used to opposition from their base. This is quite significant in that its based on interpretation of the state’s constitution. In addition, it shows the tea party’s opposition to the legislature usurping local school board control.