Paula Dockery Assails Republican Legislature For Blocking the Class Size Amendment

Calling it a “citizens initiative,” former for republican state senator Paula Dockery criticized the republican-dominated legislature for it’s “stonewalling” amendments voted on by taxpayers. Dockery said this in the Lakeland Ledger:

When attempts to place the “reducing class size” amendment back on the ballot for repeal failed, the Legislature got creative with the timing of the counts and the flexibility of counting within the school, and then the district, rather than the actual classroom. Rolling the class-size reduction funding into the per-pupil spending made it difficult to determine what was spent on class-size versus instruction

Ah, yes. That “devious plan” Jeb Bush had for getting around the will of the voters, eh? And Bush is at it again reports Lloyd Dunkelberger for the Herald Tribune:

Bush lost the initial battle more than a dozen years ago when Florida voters approved the class-size limit at the same time they re-elected Bush to a second term in 2002. The amendment vote came despite Bush’s assertion that the class-size limit would “blot out the sun” in terms of its cost.

Now preparing for a presidential campaign, Bush offered another critique of the class-size limit, arguing that it should be repealed and the money used to otherwise improve schools, including lifting teacher pay. He said he raised the issue at the education summit put on by the Foundation for Florida’s Future, which Bush founded, in order “to provoke a little thought.”

Bush knew his “little thought” had already been provoked as his ally Florida Tax Watch was already on board with its support. Read to this howler:

“By adjusting the way our state’s schools calculate their class sizes, billions of taxpayer dollars would be freed up for use on proven tools to increase student learning gains,” said Dominic Calabro, the TaxWatch president. “School districts would be able to invest in better teacher training programs, higher teacher salaries and more resources for students.”

Um, Dominic, smaller class sizes is proven to increase learning gains. How about spending time finding out how wasteful the policies you’ve been flacking for Bush have been on public schools? Then you’d be a legitimate tax advocate for actual taxpayers and not a tool for pet policies of the powerful.

Anyhow, Floridians are getting a refresher course on Bush’s education agenda during the new legislative session. His desire to run for President necessitates some historical rewrites and new Bush myth-making.




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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