Florida roundup: School choice Dems, $20 million contract dispute and more

Rep. Soto

School choice Democrat has edge in senate race. State Rep. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, who supports vouchers and tax credit scholarships, appears poised to capture a state senate seat, reports the Sunshine State News.

DOE ends contract. From the Associated Press: “Florida is terminating a $20 million contract to build a website intended to help students, parents and teachers master new academic standards.”

Rick Scott ed plan called “timid.” The Daily Caller quotes Joy Pullman, managing editor of School Reform News: “Gov. Scott has released a comparatively tame education agenda, which reflects the vitriolic backlash he’s faced from the education establishment, and possibly a bit of “reform exhaustion” in a state that has made continual, serious education changes across the past 15 years.”

More no on Amendment 8. Hernando Today publishes a Florida Voices op-ed that says Amendment 8 is bad and really about vouchers.

Fate of double-F charter. The Board of Education will decide next week if the Sweetwater Branch Academic Elementary School in Gainesville can stay open, the Gainesville Sun reports.

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at rmatus@stepupforstudents.org or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at facebook.com/redefinedonline.