But what do you do when you are a teacher and your job is threatened and you are bullied by a school board member? Do you walk away or hide? Stop sticking up for teachers and schools? I can't imagine anyone would have faulted me if I would have just shut the blog down and slinked away. Believe me I considered those things but at the end of the day I feel decent folks will want better and more if they knew what was really happening. Despite the threats and dangers to me I felt like I still needed to advocate for my colleagues.
So when I write about Scott Shine, please know I don't do so without trepidation, he has repeatedly shown a willingness to go after me but I feel people knowing about the things he says and does is worth the personal risk to me, though my wife vehemently disagrees.
Okay I will just get to it.
In the June 1st Beaches Ledger Scott Shine wrote an opinion piece about the Virtues of House Bill 7069 which will fundamentally change the way things are done and that public education advocates, including most of the school board, hail as disastrous.
First he talks about how Charters for the most part are financially sound, he leaves out the 352 that have taken public money and failed including the four that have closed recently in Duval County, but hey facts, who cares.
But perhaps the most outrageous thing he said is schools fail because they have union teachers. "I conducted a study of Duval Schools, that may close under 7069 and found a clear and direct relationship between those schools and the highest concentration of union teachers in the city of Jacksonville."
First I wouldn't believe Scott Shine if he told me it was the first day of Summer vacation and I have been sitting on my couch all day watching Netflix. He did a study? I asked the union if he went to them to ask about percentages and but it was after closing time, so I will try again tomorrow.
I then asked the district if they had the percentage of union teachers at our schools and they have not got to me. A little shout out to the district, I asked them another, I thought rather complicated question earlier today and they got right back to me with an answer. It's my guess they have no idea but I will update when they reply.
But he did a study?. Oy vey.
He went on to say, "The strategic advantage of converting union heavy public schools to non-union charters would be a direct connect to eliminating union member jobs and the findings speaks for itself."
Yes, the findings of Shine's study, can I say Oy vey again?
Here is the thing, union member or not, union supporter or not, you should be outraged. You see Doing what what's best for children is immaterial to Shine because charters in Jax as a group under perform when compared to their public school counterparts, he still wants those public schools to fail so they can be replaced by charters because to him it's all about getting rid of union teachers.
Shine blames union members for the grades of those schools where I thank them for their service because I know they would be worse off without them.
The fact that he blames unions especially since he lives here in Florida is ludicrous. After sixteen years in the classroom I have an adjusted for inflation 3,000 dollar raise, of course back then my school loans where in forbearance. now with me paying 15% of my take home every two weeks the reality is I make less. Thanks all-powerful teachers union!!!!! There are problems in public education but the reality is the republican party has been completely in control of public education here in Florida for two decades now, they not unions are who we should be looking at.
Anti-union and pro charter. That reminds me of what Dean Wormer said to Dorfman in Animal House. Hopefully the voters of District two vote this guy out and we can get somebody who isn't willing to let schools fail just to get rid of a handful of teachers.
Scott Shine did say one important and completely honest thing, "Charter schools and not unionized and have long been promoted as both choice and a tool to break politically powerful teachers unions around the United States. Unfortunately, it has been seen as one of the only tools in diluting the power of these politically powerful, left-aligned unions and it has put students in the cross hairs."
Some school choice and charter advocates are willing to put children's futures on the line just to destroy teacher unions. That's shameful, but thank you Mr. Shine for saying out loud what we have all known for quite some time.