Former Duval School Board member carries KIPP charter school bill in Tallahassee

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On Thursday, an appropriations bill (HB 2787) was filed in the Florida House for the benefit of the “Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP).”

The bill, filed by Jacksonville Republican Jason Fischer (a former member of the Duval County School Board), seeks to continue the $1,224,000 appropriation from the previous budget to benefit Jacksonville’s KIPP school.

HB 2787 is well-positioned to succeed: Jacksonville powerbroker Gary Chartrand, a member of the local KIPP school’s Board of Directors, is close with Gov. Scott and is on the State Board of Education.

“The funds will pay for the incremental costs associated with the extended school day and year for students in the region’s most educationally undeserved community. Extended learning time allows hundreds more hours per year of classroom instruction versus public schools. The extended school day offers more time dedicated to literacy, math, history, and science. As a result, KIPP students achieve at consistently higher levels than their peers in core academic subjects and the arts,” asserts the appropriations request.

In an interesting side note, the official requester on this appropriations request is Tom Majdanics.

Majdanics, the executive director of the Jacksonville KIPP location, made news of a different sort last year when he mounted a determined campaign in opposition to the pension reform referendum that Mayor Lenny Curry was pushing.

The most dramatic confrontation between Curry and Majdanics occurred in August at an unlikely location: the normally sedate Jacksonville Rotary Club.

Just months later, a state representative that got a lot of help in the pivotal August primary from Curry is carrying a bill that benefits someone who tried to scuttle a key Curry initiative.

This is yet another illustration that Jacksonville is a small town.

The lobbyist on this bill: Mark Pinto of The Fiorentino Group.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]



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