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Is UNF part of the solution or the problem?

First once again I would like to thank Dr. Michael Binder for getting back to me about questions I had about the JPEF/UNF opinion poll taken last week. His answers were all very reasonable but I think he missed my point and that is, does UNF want to be part of the problem or part of the solution?

If UNF blindly takes questions from JPEF, or any organization for that matter and just presents their findings then they are part of the problem, they have just tacitly endorsed their agenda. Despite the P standing for Public in JPEF’s name, I believe their overall, far reaching goal is the privatization of public education.
When I asked why giving money to teachers wasn’t an option with potential new taxes, implying JPEF considered them after thoughts, Dr. Binder wrote:  Again, I would direct that question to JPEF.   I could venture guesses, none of which are as Machiavellian as you're implying, but they would simply be guesses.

Let’s talk about Machiavellian.

Since 2010 when JPEF arrived charter schools have increased by nearly 400 percent, from 10 to 35. Teach for America the same going from 50 members to 200.

A block of the JPEF board gave a considerable amount of money to a candidate in each school board race, after JPEF promised other nonprofits they would remain impartial, winning 3 out of four contests. They also created the QEA which has pushed from behind closed doors the market ideas they champion.

They have donated substantially to the public policy institute at Jacksonville University and to WJCT which gave Gary Chartrand a champion of education award. Undoubtedly they have purchased influence at both places.

The same Gary Chartrand, never an educator is chairman of the state board of education has said, anybody can be a teacher, it’s good that they don’t have work protections and has used his position to support charters over district objections state wide and would like nothing better than for Jacksonville to be the first open enrollment district in the state. Okay that last part was conjecture on my part but nothing else was.   

He is the prince and JPEF is his steed. His goal is the destruction of public education and teaching as a profession. I will let you decide if that is conjecture or not.

I believe UNF should take the time to ask questions because if they did that then they would get better answers for the city, right now they are just presenting the answers JPEF wants them to.


  1. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your interest in the poll. To answer your question, the response options provided for potential tax revenue uses are intended to reflect realistic parameters on how the district could use that money. The district has openly discussed the possibility of seeking a small property tax rate increase for capital outlay support in the next year. By statute, any revenue generated by this type of tax can only be used for capital outlay expenses (i.e., building construction/repairs/maintenance, auto fleet, technology upgrades, property tax/insurance, etc.). We looked through all the allowable uses for this money in statute and tried to group them into some big-bucket, "common language" options to provide the district with practical feedback from the community on any potential use of this particular money. In other words, we only asked about things that the type of tax they may be asking for could actually be used for.

    Thanks again for your continuing support of public education. If you have any other questions about anything in the poll, please feel free to contact me anytime.

    Jason Rose
    Director, Data & Research
    Jacksonville Public Education Fund

  2. I have been advocating for a half cent tax dedicated to education issues since 2007. I think using the money to fix our schools would be great. Here is the thing though,their are other ways to raise revenue through the tax process like with what Palm Beach does. The have a special tax used to fund arts, music and P.E. My point was maybe a better question is, if Duval (through whatever tax process) was to raise extra money could it be spent on increasing teacher salaries or hiring more teachers, for the arts or to comply with the class size amendment. Not that I think its a good idea but to pay for open enrollment transportation is something I think you guys would have jumped on. Teachers in Duval feel marginalized and neglected and I think anybody would be hard pressed to say they are not. To read about Palm Beach, check out the link: