No matter what you think of Florida's package of school reforms over the past several years (See here for our analysis of the latest piece, the Voluntary Pre-K program) one has to be astonished at the deftness with which Governor Jeb Bush has moved his schools agenda (which seems to be working, see here). But the easy sledding may be coming to an end. Last week, the Florida Senate handily rejected two Bush bills: a proposal to hold a referendum to alter Florida's class size amendment (which is having a devastating effect, see here) and a voucher program for children who failed state exams for three years in a row. Not even a sweetener in the form of an amendment that would have guaranteed Florida teachers a minimum starting salary of $35,000 was enough to get state lawmakers to break the stranglehold of the Sunshine state's class size amendment.
"Bush rebuffed on class sizes," by Carrie Johnson, St. Petersburg Times, May 6, 2005