Florida's students, parents, teachers and communities are in a knock-down, drag-out fight right now -- and it's a fight we have to win for our kids.
Late last week Florida's Republican-controlled legislature passed a bill dictating a rigid, one-size-fits-all policy that diminishes our local schools' ability to pay and retain strong teachers. Now, it is on Governor Charlie Crist's desk, waiting for his signature, which could happen at any time.
Floridians are standing with me to oppose this harmful bill and making it clear that we don't want Tallahassee politicians making these types of decisions for our local school districts.
That's why so far over 13,000 citizens have signed my petition asking Governor Crist to listen to the parents, students, and teachers he represents -- and oppose this bill before it hurts our schools and students.
This fight is personal for me.
My two children graduated from Florida public schools, and as a proud PTA mom, I know that this bill, Senate Bill 6, is bad for teachers, bad for our kids, and bad for our state's future.
I think testing is an important part of the education process, and that we should bring together our local school districts, teachers, parents and superintendents to determine the best way to reward teachers for student performance. But, a child's education is far more than a couple days of filling in bubbles for multiple choice questions -- yet, this law would make those few days the biggest determinant of our teachers' paychecks.
That's just not right. Florida is a diverse state, and every classroom is different.
To make matters worse, Senate Bill 6 is another unfunded mandate that will simply stretch Florida's overburdened schools further than they are now.
If I were governor right now, vetoing this bill would be a no-brainer. And that's why I hope you will join me to stop it.
The fight to protect Florida's students and schools also shows clearly what's at stake in the race for governor this year.
My opponent, Republican Bill McCollum, is "applauding" Senate Bill 6 and giving it "two thumbs up". McCollum is making it clear that he does not share Floridians priorities -- which is why it's so important to send a strong signal about who is standing up for Florida's interests and who is in it for their own interests.
With Governor Crist poised to make his final decision as early as today, we have to make our voices heard now on this issue. Please join me and speak out.
Sign my petition to Governor Crist now, urging him to veto Senate Bill 6-- together, we can make sure that Governor Crist gets the message now, before it is too late.
Follow Alex Sink on Twitter: www.twitter.com/alexsinkflorida