Winners & Losers
This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
Who’s up and who’s down in the Sunshine State?
Disney CEO Robert Iger pulled a fast one on Florida and screwed Gov. Ron DeSantis on Disney World’s self-governing district! No wait, DeSantis is playing 3D chess, knew something like this would happen and has something up his sleeve! The competing storylines are coming so fast and furious we don’t know who’s the winner and who’s the loser in this latest twist to the DeSantis vs. Disney saga. We don’t have enough space here to explain it; read this story. We can say it involves a development agreement that supposedly ties the new board’s hands and invokes the descendants of King Charles III. The real losers? Journalists who had to figure out what the “rule against perpetuities” means. Oh, the horror!
Brian Aungst Sr. -
To fill the void in leadership, the Clearwater City Council unanimously decided this week to make former mayor Brian Aungst Sr. mayor again (do we call him “Re-mayor”?) to complete the last 11 months of Frank Hibbard’s term. Hibbard quit “during a dramatic disagreement about budget priorities,” the Tampa Bay Times reported. Now Aungst just has to deal with disagreements over spending, angst from local business owners and community leaders … er, this is a win, right?
Robert Haag -
Members of Robert Haag’s Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools are going to be among the biggest beneficiaries of Florida’s voucher expansion law that DeSantis just signed into law this week. Whether the cost of the bill will be $200 million or over a billion, public charter schools are certain to be on the receiving end of much of that government money. Load up the Brinks truck.
Kathleen Passidomo -
The Senate president’s priority bill just got DeSantis’ stamp of approval. The bill, the Live Local Act, allocates $711 million to affordable housing initiatives, but also bars municipalities from enacting local rent control measures. The bill has net bipartisan support in the face of Florida’s growing affordable housing crisis. Hopefully Passidomo’s bill makes a real difference.
You wouldn’t think a 500-year-old marble penis would cause a national kerfuffle, but here we are. Michelangelo's “David” has been the subject of bad press after a Tallahassee charter school forced out its principal, in part because an art teacher showed 6th graders a full frontal photo of the 12,000-pound sculpture. Now, Hillsdale College is ending its association with the school, saying the ensuing controversy has made a “parody” of its classical education aims.
Andrew Gothard -
The president of the statewide United Faculty of Florida watched this week as his organization took one of its biggest blows in recent history. The state university system’s board of governors gave final approval to a regulation that would require tenured faculty to undergo a review process every five years. Gothard spoke out against the change, saying it would make the state university system one of the least competitive in the country. But the DeSantis appointee-dominated board didn’t see it that way.
Andrew Spar -
This week really wasn’t a good one for public educator unions. The Florida Senate passed a bill that includes a host of public union restrictions, including prohibiting them from deducting union dues from teacher paychecks. The Florida Education Association, which Spar is the president of, is one of several unions that will be impacted by the bill if it garners approval from the House and the governor. Signs of a roadblock have yet to emerge.
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