Martin County School Board

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 Martin County School Board


In the name of parental rights, has the legislature taken away all pretense of any local discretion in educational policy?

As the meeting went on, it seemed that the policies the board enacted were in response to legislation requiring the board to do what has been mandated. The board (and to some extent staff) were just cogs in a wheel. Is this what parental control means? It seems more that it is state control being instituted under the guise of something else.

I believe in parents exerting control over their children’s education. Vouchers would allow parents to choose schools whose educational philosophy is most closely aligned to a parent’s beliefs. That makes sense to me.

What it appears is happening now is a concentration of most educational policies in the hands of Tallahassee. At times a single parent can influence the choice of books and curriculum material for an entire district under the guise of parental control. Yet is it really or just an impediment for districts to make decisions it feels are best.

True parental control is when there is a flowering of different educational choices at a variety of schools. A school that does things like Classical Academy and sticks to the traditional approach. Or another that uses a Socratic method to teach. Vouchers would allow the parent to choose.

If Tallahassee is going to mandate things so pedestrian such as how to hold a job fair for students, is that true choice? Parental control should mean a child’s education is left to the parent to find the school that best supports the ideal. If all Florida is doing is substituting a local authority with a state one, there is still no true parental rights.

Both districts and Tallahassee need to step down from micromanaging. Let schools compete for the educational dollars by creating learning environments that are what parents truly want for their children.

With the new tax rates for the next year, which begins October 1st, taxpayers will see either a slight increase or a decrease. The state’s required tax rate will be slightly less next year with all other rates to remain the same. However, because of an increase in property valuations there will be more dollars collected. In any case, because of Save Our Homes, increases in valuations are capped.

The final budget numbers will be a little more than $568 million. It is about $4 million more than this year’s budget. You can see the presentation here  

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