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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Paula Wright shoots across Superintendent Vitti’s bow


Meanwhile, school board member Paula Wright said Tuesday she would like a chance to revisit some of the other programs the board has approved. At the time the decisions were made, she was not aware that positions in the district might have to be cut, she said.
“We voted for 13 or 14 items before we really got into the budget, and I would not have done some of those things had I known we would be here,” she said, referring to the recent decision to reduce security staffing.Recently, the board agreed to cut the district's 239 security guards by 65.
Wright cited the board’s approval to open GRASP Academy for 225 dyslexic students at R.L. Brown and the three-year Teach For America contract to hire at 300 more TFA members over the next three years.

“I think it’s grossly unfair that if we’re going to be reducing all the other items that we’re reducing and leave these items over here,” she said.
However, Vitti said both GRASP Academy and TFA are largely funded through money outside of the district. GRASP is funded through federal money. The TFA contract is funded through federal and private money, however, the district is still responsible for paying $600,000 out of its general fund.

First we pay that 600 grand to TFA in addition to their salaries, benefits and any additional training and the district always trains new teachers a lot more than experienced teachers. Then since the vast amount of TFA teachers leave after two years all that money is completely wasted. We spend more on brand new and not going to stick around TFAers than we do on 9th year teachers. Furthermore just because some of the money sent to TFA nearly 1.7 million dollars a year doesn’t come directly from the district is irrelevant. What are we missing out on because we choose to waste the money there?  

Back to Wright and lets forget, why didn’t she know that some people were going to lose their jobs.

GRASP and TFA are Vitti’s two babies. These programs are closer to his heart than any others. GRASP because of his and his families struggles with dyslexia and TFA because um, err, hmm, Chartrand likes them maybe and he not Vitti is the real power here in Duval. I don’t know why Vitti has a love affair with TFA,  but his actions and defense of the group say that he does.

Wright has to know this so when she mentions these two particular programs out of all the ones that she could, it is very telling.  
Problems brewing on the river.

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