The Hidden Deceit Behind Ammendment 8


Pensacola News-Journal reporter Erin Kourkournis spoke with Escambia county’s superintendent of schools about the misleadingly named Religious Freedom Amendment.

Escambia County Schools Superintendent Malcolm Thomas said public schools have taken a big cut in funding in recent years, and if this amendment passes, he worries that public school districts will get less money.

Escambia County Schools Superintendent Malcolm Thomas said public schools have taken a big cut in funding in recent years, and if this amendment passes, he worries that public school districts will get less money.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush made the point of condemning school boards across the state in his weekend op-ed for opposing his reforms. One of those school board members, Patty Hightower of Escambia county also spoke with the PNJ about Amendment 8 for which Bush has vigorously advocates.

Last week, the Florida School Boards Association executive committee passed a resolution opposing it. Many fear it could put public school funding in jeopardy.

Patty Hightower, who serves on the Escambia County School Board and is president-elect of the FSBA, said the language in the amendment could be a bit misleading to voters.

“What I’m afraid people will think is it will allow prayer back in schools,” she said. “It doesn’t do that. It means that any religious entity would be able to have public funds.”

Bush doesn’t want Floridians to know that this is another one of his voucher schemes. Florida AG Pam Bondi’s complicity in the fraud should be noted as she chose not to change the name of the amendment in the court-ordered re-write of the amendment. Bush likes to talk of the bipartisan support for his reforms but he ignores bipartisan ire for public education funding cuts. With opposition ads to Amendment 8 already popping up, it will be interesting to see when and where Bush unleashes privatization zealot John Kirtley’s corporate cash. Perhaps Kirtley’s presence will provide the metaphorical teachable moment for Floridians in that it will become clear that this amendment has nothing at all to do with religious freedom.

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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3 Responses to The Hidden Deceit Behind Ammendment 8

  1. We’re discussing school boards over at my blog:

    http://blog.learnstream.co/post/31528974025/getalong#disqus_thread

    My wife and I are wrestling with our vote on Amendment 8. I will show your post to her.

  2. Irish Lass says:

    The superintendent of schools you speak about is totally correct. Everyone needs to go out there and research the background on this. Read the amendment – how can a private school take federal taxpayer dollars and remain private – they won’t! The name of the Amendment is misleading – http://www.krisannehall.com

    Why is it the amendment mentions only the Catholic church and 2 of the 3 legislators who supposedly wrote this are Catholic? Once again I call into question the ethics of the FL Legislature. If you do you research you will find the whole purpose behind Charter school is not for the benefit of your children but to create “for profit” “public-private partnerships” with no elected school boards and ultimately the total control would come from D.C.

    This is not about our children! This is about implementing the Communist Manafesto “school to work” agenda! Do your research and if you can prove me wrong, please do so! Jen Bush and all his cronies in the FL legislature and involved in this huge takeover of our schools has DANGER written all over it!

  3. Pingback: shaky footing « Learning: Theory, Policy, Practice

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