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FL Gov vetoes funding for Learning for Life

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Florida Governor Rick Scott, an Eagle Scout, vetoed a $2.5 million education appropriation. pulling the plug on their character education program.  

 

The Learning for Life program has been taught in some school districts for 20 years. When he vetoed the money, Scott said since the instruction is required by state law then “districts should use current resources to provide the instruction.â€

 

The budget shortfall in Suwannee River Area Council is $155,000

 

http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2017/10/22/boy-scouts-caught-unprepared-gov-scotts-veto/780014001/

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I think funding extra education programs (for lack of a better term) at the state level is an annual controversy in Florida. I was surprised at the amount nearly $2M.

 

http://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article154126309.ece/binary/Final-Veto-List-2017-As-published.pdf

 

I think you are correct, and I think there was a thread about last year's budget controversy (and the involvement of LFL) but I cannot find it.  I'm guessing that the LFL funding was restored last year, or it most likely would not be an issue this year.

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This looks like it will hit the Fire Explorer Posts in my council hard.

 

I don't understand why that would be the case.  I thought this was about the education budget and the governor's proposal to eliminate funding for the in-school character education materials and teacher training provided by LFL.  Why would that funding cut affect the Fire Explorer program?  Is the Fire Explorer program delivered through the state's education budget?  Or are you saying that the revenues from the in-school programs are used to fund the Fire Explorers?  (I would think the financing of Fire Explorers would come from the membership fees paid by the Fire Exploring participants.)  If these questions sound ignorant, that is entirely possible, I have never been involved in either LFL or Exploring and have never quite understood the relationship between the two.

 

Added note:  I guess I should clarify that last sentence.  I do know that Exploring is "part of" LFL, or a "program of" LFL, or a "subsidiary of" LFL, depending on which publication you are reading.  But I also know that "Learning for Life", in addition to being an organization, is also the name of the in-school program run by "Learning for Life", with Exploring being a separate program within Learning For Life.  Actually, I do not "know" any of this with certainty, it is just what I have picked up along the way.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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I tried to find an article about what happened last year, but there are so many articles from so many different times of the year about Governor Scott vetoing, threatening to veto or talking about vetoing various budget bills, and the legislature considering overrides of vetoes, that I don't even know where to look.  Florida's budgeting process makes New Jersey's budgeting process look simple and straightforward, which is a difficult feat to accomplish.

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When he vetoed the money, Scott said since the instruction is required by state law then “districts should use current resources to provide the instruction.â€

 

I find that interesting because about 20 years ago, New Jersey amended its constitution to say just the opposite:  If the state mandates that local governments (including school boards) provide a particular program, the state must pay for that program.  Enforcing that requirement has sometimes been easier said than done, and it does not apply to federally mandated programs, or to state mandates that were already in effect, and there are some exceptions, but at least it reflects a policy that the state should not load up local governments with mandatory programs without providing funding.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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I find that interesting because about 20 years ago, New Jersey amended its constitution to say just the opposite:  If the state mandates that local governments (including school boards) provide a particular program, the state must pay for that program.  Enforcing that requirement has sometimes been easier said than done, and it does not apply to federally mandated programs, or to state mandates that were already in effect, and there are some exceptions, but at least it reflects a policy that the state should not load up local governments with mandatory programs without providing funding.

Similarly, Massachusetts had a citizen petition called Proposition 2 1/2 over unfunded state mandates. The idea was simple,  limit property tax increases to no more than 2.5%. With limits on local tax revenue, the state would have to provide more funding itself. In practice, it is more complicated and of course the state setup yet another staffed agency of Local Mandates to obfuscate and dictate. And on it goes.

 

Unfortunately, "Learning for LIfe" is a common name for a variety of non-BSA education programs at the state and local level so it is hard to know what is being funded.

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In practice, it is more complicated and of course the state setup yet another staffed agency of Local Mandates to obfuscate and dictate. And on it goes.

 

Yes, in NJ we have a Council on Local Mandates, which I am sure has a staff.  It does seem to partly defeat the purpose of the whole thing.  And I believe that all of the council members themselves are appointed either by the governor or the legislative leaders (of both parties) so I question whether the local property-tax payer gets an even break, although there have been a few notable decisions against the state.

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I've heard of it, but have no idea what "learning for life" is.  

I honestly thought it was just an advertising tag line for the BSA truthfully.

so

based on that and as a long time FL resident I am thankful to Gov Scott at the moment.  Sounds like yet another bloated thing paid for by the government that really is no business of the state government....  Sounds like he's right on the money to me, based on what little I know (only this thread)

 

Now I  am open minded and ready to be convinced otherwise.....

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I've heard of it, but have no idea what "learning for life" is.  

I honestly thought it was just an advertising tag line for the BSA truthfully.

so

based on that and as a long time FL resident I am thankful to Gov Scott at the moment.  Sounds like yet another bloated thing paid for by the government that really is no business of the state government....  Sounds like he's right on the money to me, based on what little I know (only this thread)

 

Now I  am open minded and ready to be convinced otherwise.....

 

In this case, it is a character education program which the State of Florida was paying the BSA (or technically, LFL, if that is a separate entity) to provide in the public schools in your state.  Presumably it is used in other states and/or localities as well.  I can't try to convince you of its value one way or the other, because to my knowledge I have never actually "seen" it.  I do vaguely recall that my children did have some sort of character education program in school but I do not know whether it was the LFL program.  I do remember seeing some materials that sounded somewhat Scout-like but I don't recall whether I inquired further.

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I've heard of it, but have no idea what "learning for life" is.  

I honestly thought it was just an advertising tag line for the BSA truthfully.

so

based on that and as a long time FL resident I am thankful to Gov Scott at the moment.  Sounds like yet another bloated thing paid for by the government that really is no business of the state government....  Sounds like he's right on the money to me, based on what little I know (only this thread)

 

Now I  am open minded and ready to be convinced otherwise.....

 

In the late 1970's and through the 80's, a number of Councils ran a program called "Scouting in Schools" - it was an after school program that provided Scout skills without the trappings of traditional scouting - and was open to girls as well.  In 1991, the BSA created Learning for Life which was essentially the same program with a different name - partly to prevent confusion between traditional Scouting and "Scouting in Schools".  From the beginning, LFL has been a character building program.  In the late 1990's, LFL absorbed the career-based Exploring Posts, including police and fire posts, and kept the Exploring name while the high adventure/avocation Posts became Venturing.  This change was made because of controversies over whether public schools/government entities could sponsor BSA units, including Explorer Posts when the BSA's policies on discrimination contradicted their own.  By making Exploring part of LFL - which was always 100% non-discriminatory about anyone (No triple G (God, girls, gays) issues in LFL), it saved the Exploring program.

 

As t the situation in Florida, my take is that the State has mandated an in school character education program.  LFL just happens to have a character education program, ready to go - for a price of course.  The school districts ad no character education program of their own, so they purchased it from LFL - and the state provided the funds to the districts to do so.  What Gov. Scott has essentially done is stopped the state from paying for it leaving it to the School Districts to pay for it.  It sounds as if his thinking is the school districts have to do character building so they should be able to do it within their regular curriculum for no extra charge.  Of course, the School Districts don't have it as a built in curriculum because they've been relying on LFL so now the School Districts will either have to pay LFL out of their own budget, or spend money to develop their own internal curriculum.  Either way, what Governor Scott has essentially done is just change who will pay for the mandated program and has suggested that school districts should do so without raising taxes which of course means they should cut spending elsewhere for it.  Sounds good on paper until you school district cuts out music, or art, or something else parents think is important but is just not mandated.

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All I know is that a number of Explorer units were listed as having vetoed line items in the budget document so I assume they will be short that amount of money. 

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All I know is that a number of Explorer units were listed as having vetoed line items in the budget document so I assume they will be short that amount of money. 

 

Listed where? I am looking at the list that RS posted the link to in post #3 in this thread.  I see Learning for Life but I do not see Exploring or Explorer (or Post).

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