Hillsborough Education Foundation’s Board of Directors sent the letter below to Governor Ron DeSantis, key legislators and other top state officials expressing our concerns with the legislature passing HB 7045. Our concerns are specific to the increased lack of accountability within the bill and continued difference in standards related to teacher certification and student testing.
Our foundation exists to help support public education. We appreciate parent choice being part of the educational system; however, we believe that schools receiving tax dollars should have the same level of accountability and guidelines as our public schools.
Dear Governor DeSantis:
As a nonprofit focused solely on strengthening public education in Hillsborough County and an education advocate, Hillsborough Education Foundation is concerned about K-12 public education funding and the lack of accountability associated with House Bill 7045.
During a time of budget uncertainty and unprecedented challenges related to the pandemic, public schools need more resources and support to meet the needs of all students. Florida continues to rank among the lowest in the nation—43rd for K-12 public education funding. Any additional state funding available should be invested in our underfunded public schools.
We are especially concerned about the lack of oversight in the bill caused by reducing the frequency of audits from once per year to at least every three years; as well as the lack of transparency and accountability for private schools that are held to different standards when it comes to teacher certification and testing.
We believe schools receiving tax dollars should have the same level of accountability and guidelines in place to ensure successful student learning and outcomes.
On behalf of the Board,
Royce Reed, Board Chair
Kim Jowell, CEO
Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Florida Department of Education
Senate President Wilton Simpson
House Speaker Chris Sprowls
Senator Jim Boyd
Senator Danny Burgess
Senator Janet Cruz
Senator Darryl Rouson
Representative Mike Beltran
Representative Fentrice Driskell
Representative Dianne Hart
Representative Traci Koster
Representative Andrew Learned
Representative Lawrence McClure
Representative Michele Rayner
Representative Jackie Toledo
Representative Susan Valdes