State Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey (Pic via Facebook) A few weeks ago, Gov. Rick Scott put out a challenge to teachers across the state: Come up with new ideas for Florida’s K-12 education system. One of the responses to that call is now coming in the form of a bill sponsored by state Sen
A few weeks ago, Gov. Rick Scott put out a challenge to teachers across the state: Come up with new ideas for Florida’s K-12 education system. One of the responses to that call is now coming in the form of a bill sponsored by state Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey. “Four teachers in our community responded to [Scott's] challenge,” says Fasano aide Greg Giordano. “The senator and his team, along with the teachers, worked together to construct a piece of legislation that they feel can make a difference in the state’s education system — the recently filed S.B. 318, which would create a Statewide K-12 Education Commission.”
“The commission will be comprised of members appointed by the governor, the speaker of the House, the president of the Senate and the State Board of Education,” says Giordano. “We purposely listed the specific qualifications of the individuals who will serve so that the commission will have a diverse representation of Florida’s educational system.”
According to Giordano, the senator wants people from small, medium and large school districts to serve on the commission, and is seeking the participation of parents, current or retired educators, as well as representatives from charter schools and non-public schools.
“The purpose of the commission,” says Giordano, “will be to review all aspects of Florida’s educational delivery system and make recommendations to the Legislature for possible action to improve existing programs or to implement new ideas.”
Though K-12 education reform was pushed forward by former Gov. Jeb Bush, Giordano says Scott is the impetus behind the new bill.
Scott’s reputation among teachers has been floundering, to say the least. He signed the highly criticized teacher merit pay bill, which some said took a “wrecking ball” to the public education system. Though he ran on a campaign of job creation, critics have argued that Scott’s budget cuts would result in the layoffs of 20,000 teachers. Scott’s plans to abolish teacher tenure and expand vouchers for schools outside the public school system have also been heavily criticized by community educators.
EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management
At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from
EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules
The EPA seal (Pic via sentryjournal.com) The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.
EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’
In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work
E-Verify Mandate Begins Today
The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm
EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.
EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards
Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some
EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria
The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards
EPA biologist says fracking may be partly to blame for West Virginia fish kill
New documents obtained by an environmental news service show that an EPA analyst believes that wastewater from fracking may be partly responsible for a fish kill in a West Virginia river. Scientific American reports : U.S
EPA Chief Overruled Calif. Waiver, Too
The Washington Post reported in March that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson was overruled by the White House in setting an ozone standard. Now, documents