Florida roundup: Carl Hiaasen, an “indefensible” campaign ad and more

Carl Hiaasen on Amendment 8. He doesn’t like it, says it’s about vouchers. It’s hard to take exception with the legend who created Skink, but for what it’s worth, here again is our take.

A campaign ad that “sounds indefensible.” From the Orlando Sentinel: “A group supporting Republican state Rep. Scott Plakon’s re-election bid is sending last-minute advertisements that attempt to link Plakon’s opponent, Democrat Karen Castor Dentel, to convicted child sex predator Jerry Sandusky.” Castor Dentel, the daughter of former state education commissioner Betty Castor, is a public elementary school teacher who opposed the 2011 law overhauling teacher tenure. Plakon said the ad “sounds indefensible.”

Florida lags with mainstreaming. Students with disabilities, particularly those with autism and emotional problems, are less likely to be mainstreamed in Florida than their counterparts in most other states, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Charter school applications in Duval. Six more are on the table for a board vote today. Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals is recommending four for approval, two for denial, the Florida Times Union reports.

Funding, fairness. In an op-ed for the Fort Myers News Press, Lee County Superintendent Joseph P. Burke says the state needs to restore education funding to 2006-7 levels and suggests charter schools should have to play by the same rules on class-size requirements.

Absentee voter fraud. A school board election in Madison County is behind the state’s longest-running case of absentee voter fraud, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Avatar photo

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.