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Sen Montford Looking For The Good In HB7069

Sen. Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee)
Nick Evans

A sweeping and contentious education measure may be on its way to court, but a Democratic Senator wants to double down on what he sees as good provisions in the bill.

House Bill 7069 is facing lawsuits on two fronts.  About 15 school boards oppose provisions making them share local funding with charter schools, and the Florida Education Association is suing over a bonus program that uses a teacher’s score on standardized tests like the SAT in its formula.  But Sen. Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee) says parts of the bill should be salvaged.

“The schools of hope piece in there providing wrap around services for our students—that’s good!” he says.  “We need to expand that.”

“We need to expand the Gardiner scholarship and others that provide for those students,” Montford continues, “So this can be a good learning experience for us, it’s something that we can take and build on.”

HB7069 was a kind of Frankenstein proposal—stitching together a number of different ideas.  In effect, holdouts had to choose between approving provisions they oppose and voting against programs they support. 

Montford was critical of the strategy and voted against the bill.