The Florida House Education committee will repeat last year’s effort with a bill that transforms high school athletes into free agents able to transfer schools at will. It promises to limit the authority of the Florida High School Athletic Association, create unfair advantages for a few schools and encourages athlete recruitment using the excuse of academic choice. It paves the way for the creation of a mega sports charter school system that could monopolize, control and perhaps monetize the state’s best student athletes. The embedded message in this legislation goes against every good lesson students can learn by playing sports.
The Principal Autonomy Pilot, HB 287, flew through committee. Three districts must select three D or F schools to participate in a three year turnaround program, giving principals autonomy over budget, staffing and resource decisions. Districts should look before they leap. This smacks of another unproven state experiment to peel schools away from the authority of elected school boards. Giving principal’s overriding power is a long-held dream of the Florida Legislature. What happens if a district strongly disagrees with the actions of a principal? During this pilot, these schools belong to the state. Isn’t this the opposite of local control?
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