Florida Education Association targeting Sen. Jeff Brandes with this attack mailer

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A campaign-styled attack mailer is arriving in the mailboxes of voters in Senator Jeff Brandes’ legislative district, courtesy of the Florida Education Association. The issue at hand is SB 862, a bill that would allow parents to petition their school boards on possible turnaround plans.

The mailer charges that “legislators (have) benefited financially” as “private education companies spent millions getting legislators elected.” 

Recipients of the mailer are urged to call Brandes and “tell him not to risk giving public school tax dollars to for-profit corporations.”

An amendment to SB 862 pproved Thursday by the Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee was expected to break the logjam over the issue. But the new provision is still causing concerns on both sides of the debate.

The amendment, offered by Sen. David Simmons removed one of the main sources of opposition to bill. Before Thursday, the bill would have allowed the State Board of Education to have the final say if the local school board rejected a petition signed by a majority of parents calling for specific turnaround plan for a school that draws an “F” on the state’s report card for two straight years. Education organizations that have opposed the plan, though, said they were still wary about the bill because they’re not sure whether the change would do away with existing law that already allows the state board to override a local board’s decision on turnaround options.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.