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Monday, July 11, 2011

Duval County needs more funding and a clue

The Times Union recently ran an editorial about funding schools and where I found it a bit meandering there can be no doubt that Duval’s schools are under funded. We have many needs going unmet.

With that being said, I don’t think if you gave our current leadership a printing press and permission to make money things would improve. If education was a three-legged stool and the three legs represented financing, leadership and program then all three of our legs are broken.

The leadership at 1701 Prudential Drive takes every opportunity to announce we are a B district though in private I bet they say to themselves if only we didn’t have any schools north of Beaver Street and West of Casset then we would be an A district. After decades of throwing paint against a wall hoping something sticks, we need to come up with a real plan to address the issues in these schools.

I personally think we need to come to the realization as a district that some of these kids are not going to go to college or at least not do so right after they graduate and we need to start planning accordingly. We should have skills and trade programs that would attract kids to them. A lot of kids don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel (or if they do they think it is a train coming at them) or understand the value of education. But if we could give them a certificate or training that would enable them to make a good wage once they graduated we could bring many of them right back into the fold. We could greatly increase their chances at being successful.

We need to develop curriculum that serves their needs, not the wants of Tallahassee or the school board. We don’t have the kids they wish we did, we have the kids we do. Friends then these new programs would need dynamic leadership and financing to be successful.

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