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TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 10/15/19-Sen. Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine, during the Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism meeting, Tuesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Influence

Second Senate panel OKs workforce training money to charter schools

The bill’s scope was expanded to include public schools at this stop.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is all-in on charter schools, and a Senate bill approved Tuesday by the Education Committee contemplates increasing their roles (and those of all schools, more holistically) in workforce training.

SB 130, sponsored by Sen. Travis Hutson, would cede job-growth grant fund money to “certain” charter schools.

Much focus has been on the infrastructure created by the fund, solely administered at the discretion of the executive branch.

The Hutson legislation, however, focuses on the workforce training piece. The fund would go solely to charters that offer the Career and Technical Education pathway.

The Hutson proposal, which builds on reform and expansion of workforce training passed in 2019, would facilitate an option for earlier training in a charter setting.

Hutson noted the fund was intended to, in part, enhance workforce training.

The money, per an amendment, would go exclusively for program administration, not capital costs. A second amendment would open the fund money up to all public schools.

In Hutson’s own district, the traditional public Pedro Menendez High School is an example of a school that offers career training.

In support: the Florida Citizens Alliance and the Associated Builders and Contractors.

Hutson’s bill has one more Senate committee: Appropriations. Both committees of reference have cleared this bill with unanimous yes votes.

But it’s not on the same glide path in the House.

That version (HB 71), carried by Rep. David Santiago, has three committee stops ahead and nary a hearing scheduled as of yet.

Written By

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 AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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