Constitution Revision Commission Update II

Florida Citizens for Science board member David Campbell sent in the following update on the work of the Constitution Review Commission:

As if Proposition 4  (which deletes the “No Aid” to religious institutions clause) wasn’t enough reason to communicate with the members of the commission we have Proposition 45. Prop 45 reads as follows:

1 A proposal to amend
2 Section 1 of Article IX of the State Constitution to
3 specify that no provision of the State Constitution
4 may be construed to limit the Legislature from making
5 provision for other educational services that are
6 beneficial to the children and families of this state.
8 Be It Proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission of
9 Florida:
11 Section 1 of Article IX of the State Constitution is
12 amended to read:
15 SECTION 1. Public education.—
16 (a) The education of children is a fundamental value of the
17 people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount
18 duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education
19 of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision
20 shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and
21 high quality system of free public schools allowing the
22 opportunity for each student that allows students to obtain a
23 high quality education. Provision shall be made and for the
24 establishment, maintenance, and operation of institutions of
25 higher learning and other public education programs that the
26 needs of the people may require. Nothing herein may be construed
27 to limit the legislature from making provision for other
28 educational services that benefit the children and families of
29 this state that are in addition to the system of free public
30 schools.

Struck through language is to be deleted from the existing section of the constitution with the underlined text inserted in its place. The obvious intent is to open a door for state funding of private schools if the legislature deems them to be for, “other educational services that benefit the children and families of this state that are in addition to the system of free public schools.” When combined with Proposition 4, virtually all limits at the state level to taxpayer dollars flowing to support private schools with anti-science agendas will be gone.

Florida Citizens for Science needs your help. This previous blog post gave information on public hearings to be held around the state. Yes, the commissioners have received a lot of (much deserved) grief for scheduling them when most people are at work. They ARE inconvenient but we must let these people know that there IS resistance to what they are trying to do. Even if the commissioners ignore you the local media outlets probably won’t. If you walk in the door and fill out a card at 6:45 P.M. you WILL be allowed to speak. You don’t have to fill the whole two minutes. Even if you only say that you support the “no aid” clause and Uniform Public education you are sending a message.

If you can’t get to a public hearing the website has contact information for all of the commissioners. Email them, call them on the phone, send a snail mail, to let them know your support for sound science education in Florida.

The politicians are always talking the talk about improving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education but they haven’t quite figured out how to do the walk. Propositions 4 and 45 are giant leaps in the wrong direction. It is hard to attract top biotech companies and research labs when a significant portion of our state education dollars (more than 11% if you include all the “pre-tax” scholarships that are still stealing money from general revenue that you must make up) go to schools that seem to view the Flintstones as a documentary.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.