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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

While DeSantis distracts us with terrible pay proposals, pushes through a massive expansion of vouchers

Well DeSantis isn't governor of Florida because he is dumb. While DeSantis has been pushing terrible teacher pay ideas through the front door, he has tried to sneak a massive voucher expansion through the back.

From Accountabloney,


Voucher schools I remind you can pick who they take and keep, teach whatever they want and many teach junk science and history, their teachers don't have to be certified let alone have degrees, and there is so little accountability that you might as well say there is none. This is what DeSantis is expanding exponentially, this is where he wants kids to get their education.

Also if this is the year two expansion, whats the year three, four and five going to look like? We are looking at the end of meaningful public ed here in Florida within the next decade.

Friends, the goal is to destroy the teaching profession and replace public ed with a hodgepodge of charters and voucher schools, though if I was a charter school supporter this proposal would alarm me as well.

You see after the Governor is done destroying public education they are next. Why have charter schools when you can have teachers teaching whatever being paid ten bucks an hour at voucher schools. You think it could never happen to you, well that's what public ed was saying 20 years ago.

So what are we going to do? Hop on the bus? Wear red for ed? I know how about another letter to the editor. Wait let's meet in Tallahassee the day before the legislators get there, for reasons.

The thing is the Governor and Tallahassee won't care about whatever we do. It is going to be full steam ahead with their plans unless we fight back.

At this point its fight or die. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Governor DeSantis, our anti-public school teacher governor continues to ignore the needs of education.

There is a teacher shortage/exodus reaching crisis levels and rather than addressing it and trying to stop it our governor instead comes out with one proposal he knows is doomed to fail, and another that teachers have overwhelming rejected. For some reason Governor DeSantis refuses to do the decent thing and say every teacher gets an X raise and instead throws out gimmicks and schemes that are doomed to fail and make things worse.
DeSantis continues to call for a massive raise for starting teachers while leaving veterans that have seen their salaries go backwards over the last decade out. This incredibly unfair proposal is going nowhere fast too as nobody in the house or senate, controlled by the governor’s party seems to be for it.
Then he wants another convoluted merit pay bonus scheme or you know the opposite of what teachers want because let’s face it he’s both ignorant and spiteful. I bet if teachers would have said, please sir can we have another bonus system, right now we would be getting a raise. Spoiler alert there have been different bonus schemes going on for nearly a decade now, all dumb, and all have failed.
Then he wants to increase the BSA 50 dollars per kid, this is the money that districts use to pay teachers and for everything that isn’t a categorical and oh by the way when you factor in inflation, this amount is so close to zero we might as well call it zero.
This is all terrible and none of it will help education and educators but do you know what will make me lose my $#&%ing mind? If one of the union says, nice first step, or great ideas but how are we going to pay for them.
The unions need to wake up and realize no help is coming from the governor and Tallahassee and if we want better for ourselves and our students, then it is time to fight.
At some point their lack of meaningful action becomes complicity.
So Governor DeSantis if your goal was to help teachers you failed miserably however if it was to show people you are ignorant or don’t care, then kudos to you.
Ugh.
Educators, he is laughing at you.
Image result for ron desantis laughing

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Seaside Charter School spreads lies to shill for money and students.

Ugh, this school seems like a real disaster.

So Seaside put this out there.


I may be a little behind the times but I believe all schools have art and music and P.E.  Furthermore recess is now mandated, think about that, things got so teach to the test that we had to make recess mandatory.

Look I wish half the day was fun classes for kids, but to lie and say they don't exist, that's unacceptable. I mean so much for the golden rule right.

How can we have a conversation about what's best for kids when one side can just tell blatant lies.

Jessica Morgan is Seasides director of special events by the way, less you think this was put out there by a random parent.

http://seasidebeaches.seasideconsortium.org/staff.html

Fl Charter school closes and gives its students in another charter school. wait what?!?

So, from the I can’t make this up file. Families choose one charter school, a few months into the school year, the charter decides to close down and enrolls the kids into another charter school. So much for parental choice right. Friends it's time to agree that charters aren't public schools and they don't have the best interests of children in mind.
You might want to read that again.
Is this the school choice their advocates have been pushing for?
Or is this corporate greed, one charter buying another out to get their students?
It's $#^ing crazy no matter how you look at it.
School choices isn’t about helping kids or families, it’s not even really about choice either. It’s about undermining public education and the teaching profession and lining the pockets of a few charter school operators and the donors they have purchased.
From WLRN.org
 A Hialeah Gardens charter high school hailed by the likes of Gov. Ron DeSantis, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush is slated to close by the end of the month, and students are preparing to transfer to a nearby campus affiliated with a politically connected for-profit education company
Several students leaving LBA Academy on Thursday afternoon said they had been informed this week the school was shutting down and they were being transferred to the nearby charter school Mater Academy in Hialeah Gardens. The students didn’t want to be identified by name for fear of getting in trouble. Many of them were wearing grey long-sleeved uniform shirts with the words “Mater-LBA.”
A spokeswoman for Mater Academy confirmed there’s a “partnership” in the works between the South Florida charter school network and the LBA.
“The goal of the partnership is to create academies within existing Mater schools that focus on: construction, design, and engineering,” said Lynn Norman-Teck, executive director of the Florida Charter School Alliance, who answered questions on behalf of Mater Academy.
Norman-Teck said Mater Academy Charter High School in Hialeah Gardens is not currently at capacity and would welcome applications from transfer students, including those attending LBA Academy. Mater Academy is one of four prominent charter school networks affiliated with the South Miami for-profit educational service provider Academica. The Mater, Somerset, Pinecrest and Doral academy networks pay millions in taxpayer dollars annually to Academica for administrative services. Academica has close financial ties to several current and former state lawmakers who have crafted lucrative laws and budgets benefiting charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run
I guaranty you when we check back in a few weeks the owners of the LBA Academy are going to have a few extra bucks in their bank account.
So much for choice right.
Ugh

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Gov DeSantis takes his terrible teacher pay plan and makes it even worse

Last month to great fanfare and zero follow up, Governor DeSantis proposed a massive raise for new teachers and nothing for veterans. Instead of dropping like a lead balloon, he got a lot of pub for his proposal even from the FEA who instead of dismissing it outright said it was a good first step.

FEA at some point your lack of meaningful action becomes complicity.

Today he took that horrible plan and made it even worse morphing it into another hair brained bonus scheme, or you know the exact opposite of what teachers have been crying for. 

From Accountabloney,


After years of calling for raises not bonuses, Governor DeSantis' teacher compensation plan gives massive raises to the newest and most inexperienced teachers and, wait for it... a new bonus, based on the school grade system, for Florida's most experienced teachers:
"The plan, as outlined by education commissioner Richard Corcoran, would pay bonuses to teachers and principals in schools based on their growth in the state’s A-F school grading system.
Schools that see their points in the grading rise 6 percent or more would qualify for the highest bonuses, with those that have gains of 3 to 5 percent in the next level and those with 1 to 2 percent growth in the bottom tier. Educators at Title I schools, serving primarily low-income students, would get an amount double that awarded to non-Title I schools."
We heard they're calling it the "Suck it, Old-timers Bonuses" but that could have just been a rumor. 

Sigh 

Governor DeSantis is apparently incapable of doing the right thing and saying, every teacher gets a insert number here raise, or better yet significantly raising the base pupil allotment and letting districts and unions figure out what to do with it, or you know their jobs. At this point can there be any doubt that either by hook, he is incompetent, or crook, he wants to stick it to teachers, we can't expect anything decent from the governor.

So what do we do? Wear red? Write some letters to the editor? Meet the day before the legislative session starts in Tallahassee and hold some signs? I feel like we have been there and done that and things have just got worse year after year. This may be a spoiler to the FEA but the don't care because their plan is to injure and destroy the teaching profession.

DeSantis took a terrible plan that teachers hated and instead of listening to teachers he made it worse. That should tell us all what we have to do next, while there is something worth fighting for anyways.

Maybe we can get some inspiration here. In case you were wondering, DeSantis and the Republican party are the borg. It is time to stop falling back and draw a line.


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Rory Diamond continues his unethical ways

Let's talk ethics in Florida, it used to be if you were caught with a live boy or a dead girl in Florida you would have some explaining to do, though now even that is in question, and Jacksonville has always been behind the curve.

So here is what happened, Rory Diamond voted for one of his bosses, who had just quit another  board and had proposed privatizing the city's parking services, to join the board of the JEA. He could have recused himself to avoid any appearances or impropriety but he chose not to.

This on the heels of his million dollar gift from Gary Chartrand and the summer he spent fighting for his warped causes with no reveal at all.

Diamond is quickly giving Kimberly Daniels and Jason Fischer a run for the most ethically challenged politician in Jacksonville. 

From Trey Csar's twitter page,

Image


Dear beaches, can we talk here. Is this the best you could have done? Couldn't you love veterans and dogs and had ethical leadership too.

You and the city deserve better.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Jason Fischer once again attacks DCPS on behalf of his donors.

Have you ever heard the expression, any day that ends with a Y? It means sure I can do that/would do it anyway, well that's Jason Fischer with his attacks on public ed, and specifically local public ed.

His latest attack is to codify into law how special tax referendum money has to be spent, allocating a proportion of it to charter schools, and gasp, whether they need it or not.

From Florida Politics,

For any future referendums to raise sales tax rates for public schools, there could be a proportional carveout for charter schools.
That sharing approach is contemplated by language that a Jacksonville lawmaker aims to have added to the 2020 tax package.
Rep. Jason Fischer, a second-term Republican who has prioritized education reform, wants all future school tax referenda to see proceeds shared equitably between charter and traditional public schools.
First I am a 100 percent sure, Fischer has no idea what equitably means because that is what the district already proposed.
So he wants to blow the system up and you know who this benefits? His lords and masters in the charter school industry that is who. He wants them to get millions more and again whether their schools need them or not.
How do you get so hateful and vile like Fischer has to attack the futures of children so his donors can line their pockets with ever more money. What blackens somebody's soul like that?
Once again Fischer reveals himself and the site is nasty. 
Image result for jason fischer

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Florida state board of education prepares to stick a knife in the teaching profession.

There is a teaching shortage in Floirda, brought upon by a combination of low pay, accountability on steroids, and disrespect. Rather than address those issues the state board of education prepares to double down, by letting anybody with a pulse be a teacher.

From Florida Trends,

 State Board prepares to adopt rule for full-time adjunct teachers 

With concerns over a teacher applicant shortage still strong in Florida, the state is preparing to offer school districts another path to fill its classrooms — the full-time adjunct instructor. Districts long have had the ability to employ part-time adjuncts, who need not meet the same credentialing as contracted employees and do not fall under the same pay and benefit structure as if they were represented in collective bargaining.


https://www.floridatrend.com/article/28229/federal-judge-backs-best-and-brightest-settlement

So they don't have to have the same credentials, hmmm, and they are exempt from collective bargaining. You know why didn't they just get rid of the profession all together, you have to know by now that is their ultimate goal.

Private schools finance by public money can already hire teachers without certificates or even degrees for that matter, how long until its that way in public schools?

Just a reminder that when the State Board requested their budget, when you factor in inflation it is smaller than last years.

Florida wants to destroy public ed and the teaching profession and people better wake up while there is still something worth fighting for.

What is it going to be friends, what is it going to be?

Hey Times Union, Rory Diamond does not deserve your praise

I think we can all agree that helping our Veterans, like Rory Diamond's K9's for veterans does is a good and worthy thing, but if the Times Union is going to lavish praise on Diamond they should give us a complete picture of the man.

Diamond was one of the fiercest opponents of the school districts efforts to get a sales tax referendum passed to help fix its aging and crumbling schools. While doing so he accused the school board chair of being less than honest, and said only students at charter schools have a chance, which is laughable and uninformed. He did this after taking a million dollars from public school foe and charter school proponent Gary Chartrand,something Diamond didn't bother to disclose. One could make the argument he fought against the city's schools and children, along with jobs and a stimulus, after being paid to do so. 

Then speaking of being paid, Diamond is well rewarded for his efforts, after Chartrand's million dollar gift his compensation went up 40k to a quarter million dollars, pretty good right and I guess more proof that true altruism doesn't exist.

Diamond, may love helping veterans but he sure doesn't love helping children, and his moral ambiguity is troubling to say the least.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Gary Chartrand's company going bankrupt raises some troubling questions

From the Jax Daily Record 

Jacksonville-based Acosta Inc. announced Friday it will file a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan, with a majority of creditors in agreement. 

The sales and marketing company said the plan will be filed “in the coming weeks.” The plan provides for vendors to be paid in full during the Chapter 11 process and for all employees to receive their usual compensation. 

Pickett, a 28-year veteran of the company, was promoted to chief executive officer in July.“This process will enable us to continue to operate our business without disruption to clients, customers, employees, and business partners,” CEO Darian Pickett said in a news release. 

The plan will eliminate $3 billion in debt by converting it into equity, and investors have committed $250 million in new equity capital.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/jacksonville-based-acosta-to-file-prepackaged-chapter-11-bankruptcy-reorganization-plan?

Here are some facts, the KIPP school owes Chartrand three million dollars and they recently changed their structure so they can use capital funds to pay lease payments. Chartrand led the fight against the tax referendum, so charters could get millions more in capital funds. Chartrand's company is filing for bankruptcy.   

I am not saying Chartrand looted the company to pay for his far right anti-public education agenda, but wouldn't you like to see the books?

Some people like Chartrand, they say he gives to a lot of good causes but you will forgive me if I think him over charging customers, under paying employees and running his company into the ground makes for a poor resume, let alone him using all that money to push policies that hurt children, teachers and schools.

He is the villain of the story. 

Image result for gary chartrand

Thursday, November 7, 2019

School choice breeds discrimination and segregation

Imagine somebody came to you and said you could have your weight in ice cream. At first you might think this was a great idea, I mean who doesn’t love ice cream. However shortly after you had between 100 pounds to 300 pounds delivered I imagine you would start to see problems and ones beyond the diabetes you just gave yourself. That is school choice in a nutshell, sure it might sound good but when you get into the details and the reality of it, it kind of becomes a disaster.

School choice in reality is nothing more than an excuse for discrimination and segregation and that’s a problem.

First a woman in Florida was fired from the private school she worked out that was funded by public money.

From Newsweek.com

After an anonymous call to school officials, teacher Monica Toro Lisciandro was fired from her position teaching musical theater at Covenant Christian School in Palm Beach, Florida for being gay, according to LGBTQ Nation.
Administrators told Lisciandro that someone had informed them that she was in a relationship with a woman. She was also accused of attending a Pride festival and hosting an LGBTQ group in her own acting studio.
After admitting that those things were true, Lisciandro was let go from her job. Her class was readying their production of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.


Private schools in Florida that take vouchers have also been criticized for excluding disabled children as well, but the truth is they can turn down any child for any reason but they aren’t the only ones as the Florida Department of Education said charters don’t have to take kids either.

In Jacksonville it was reported that an autistic boy was turned away from a charter school, because they said he wouldn’t be a good fit. You will find similar stories all across the state so where repellent it’s not that unusual, what is however is the state department of education said that was just fine.

From Action News Jax, 

It’s against the law for public schools and charter schools to turn away students because of special needs. 

However, Action News Jax learned there’s a catch. 

The Florida Department of Education said it’s not discriminatory for charters to suggest a different school that would better serve a student with disabilities.  


Well that’s quite the catch isn’t it. I mean what parent is going to want to send their child to a school who obviously doesn’t want them. The FLDOE has given charter schools carte blanche to turn away whatever student they don’t want. Live with your grandmother, no that doesn’t seem like it will be a good fit, family lives in poverty, well we’re going to pass on you too.

If a school can turn down a kid for not being a good fit because they have a disability, they can turn down any kid for not being a good fit for any reason and they often do.

More and more research has indicated charter schools are being used to resegregate our schools too.

From NEA Today, 

In December 2017, the Associated Press conducted an analysis of charter school enrollment nationwide and found that the schools were among the most racially segregated in the nation. 

While only 4 percent of traditional public schools have student bodies that are 99 percent minority (2014-15 school year data), 17 percent of charter schools are 99 percent minority. Furthermore, of the 6,747 charter schools in the country, more than 1,000 had minority enrollment of at least 99 percent. 

The numbers were troubling, if not particularly surprising, to anyone who recognizes that high levels of racial and economic segregation is systematically linked to wide gaps in educational opportunity and achievement.

What is truly maddening beyond the discrimination and segregation that school choice fosters it is we as tax payers are paying for it. We are investing in schools that are perverting our values and usually it’s so their owners can make a buck.

School choice might sound good to some but when you break it down, the way we do it, it’s not. It’s 2019 we should and could be doing better.

Image result for ice cream melting all over someone

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The FLDOE admits they rig the game for charters and charters are allowed to discriminate.


You know it’s funny after these revelations, I thought there would be a bigger outcry. More people would be upset and maybe Tallahassee would want to do something to make the playing ground level, but thus far they have been met with a collective shrug.

In Jacksonville it was reported that an autistic boy was turned away from a charter school, because they said he wouldn’t be a good fit. You will find similar stories all across the state so where repellent it’s not that unusual, what is however is the state department of education said that was just fine. 

From Action News Jax,

It’s against the law for public schools and charter schools to turn away students because of special needs.

However, Action News Jax learned there’s a catch. 

The Florida Department of Education said it’s not discriminatory for charters to suggest a different school that would better serve a student with disabilities.
  

Well that’s quite the catch isn’t it. I mean what parent is going to want to send their child to a school who obviously doesn’t want them. The FLDOE has given charter schools carte blanche to turn away whatever student they don’t want. Live with your grandmother, no that doesn’t seem like it will be a good fit, family lives in poverty, well we’re going to pass on you too. 

If a school can turn down a kid for not being a good fit because they have a disability, they can turn down any kid for not being a good fit for any reason and they often do.

Now they might not do it to the parent’s face, instead they do it through the application process, where they ask about criminal history, income, who they live with and other invasive questions that could give them insight into how they might behave or perform academically.

Furthermore schools report all the time they receive transfers from charter schools, usually after the charters receive state funding and before the students have to take their state tests, who are often behind their public school counterparts.

The FLDOE has in essence set public schools up to fail and despite that they are by and large the best option to educate students.

Charter school proponents talk all the time about choice and competition. It’s central to their argument why we should have them. The thing is how can we have true completion when the game is rigged against public schools in favor of charters?

Sunday, November 3, 2019

CW Leanna Cumber spreads lies about the District

Friends I have a couple questions. How did Cumber get to the point where she can just spread lies about the district?




Hoo boy, if you look closely you can see chairman Hershey's response which points out the district's vaccination rate is 95 percent.

So Cumber misreads an article, and instead of reaching out to the district for clarification, goes right into spreading misinformation. This is Jacksonville, this is us.

My next question is how did somebody who doesn't care about facts and is willing to spread lies get elected.

This is a sorry state of affairs. 

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Another embarrassing day for Jacksonville (draft)

The Duval Delegation  voted 6-2 to advance Jason Fischer's craven J1 bill that plays politics with the future of the city's children and asks the state legislature to allow for a change in the city charter going from an appointed superintendent to an elected one. This was more than just disappointing it was embarrassing as it just shows yet once again we have elected terrible people who feel comfortable ignoring facts, evidence and the will of the people.

There is not one good reason to have an elected superintendent, not one and there are plenty of good reasons to have an appointed one, furthermore the school board, the ones the people elected to manage our schools could request a referendum without having to ask 112 politicians who don't live here to change the charter and they have adamantly refused to do so. 

Furthermore everyone knows this was a racially motivated and craven attack against superintendent Diana Greene because she wouldn't give into the mayor, city council and their donors attempt to extort hundreds of millions from the school system.

Fischer when he was on the school board didn't bring this up, he has made no move in the state legislature to change the commissioner of education from an appointed to an elected position and he even changed the J1 bill which initially wanted an appointed school board.

He said he talked to 200 people who wanted an elected super, a bold face lie on his part, but are these the same people who said they wanted an appointed school board? Like Fischer did they too flip flop on their initial position? No, he lies as easily as I breathe.

It's just not this though, look at whats happening at the JEA, the people don't want to sell it but there they are chugging along. The housing authority, micro grants from the Kids hope alliance to buy political support, the landing, the murder rate, heck we are about to privatize parking, individually they are all bad but when taken together, what the %$#& is happening to the city?

This past summer we had a mayor and city council, fight tooth and nail, and changed the meaning of the word shall to fight against the city's schools, children, a stimulus and jobs, you know the things every other city council and mayor in the world fight for.  It is embarrassing, I am embarrassed to live here.

Friends our city has been hijacked. Too many people were on snooze and auto pilot figuring we would elect decent people who would do decent things and they were terribly wrong. What is happening here with the J1 bill, the referendum, JEA etc etc etc is not just wrong, but it is embarrassing as well

To read more, click the link, https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20191101/duvalrsquos-state-legislators-will-introduce-bill-to-have-referendum-on-elected-schools-superintendent

Thursday, October 31, 2019

In Florida, education is Political, and Governor DeSantis says so.

You know often when I write about education in Florida I talk about all the destructive things the republicans in Tallahassee have done towards public education and the teaching profession. I mean who else would I talk about because they have been in complete control of public education in Florida for over two decades. What is happening in Florida is not non-partisan and the governor as much as admitted that the other day.
During a press conference where he outlined his legislative policies he doubled down on his proposal to lift starting salaries for new teachers despite the fact most teachers were against a policy that does nothing for veterans, whose salaries have actually gone backwards over the last decade.
When asked about the union’s request that all teachers receive salary increases, the Governor basically said, I am a republican and they are not and I don’t care what they have to say.
“It’s just the fact of the matter. I’m a Republican. They’re not. What I’m doing is never going to be enough. My job is not to do what the union wants – it’s what I think is best for education and particularly for individual teachers,” 
Um, what individual teachers is he talking about? Is it the ones that reflexively vote against their self-interests and reflexively vote republican, there are more than I would like to admit out there. Me, you come with policies, that benefit me and my family, I don’t care what political party you represent, but the fact of it is, democrats are usually strong supporters of public ed and tea hers while republicans are not. People might want to hem and haw and complain about that, but that is just the way it is and again just look at the governor’s words.  
In a way I am glad the governor just gave a middle finger to the teacher’s unions and the teaching profession. Maybe it will wake people up that no help is coming. People have been saying wait till the next election for a decade and yet there are large majorities of republicans, partly due to gerrymandering dominating the house and senate. The last election was 50.1 to 49.1, but the house and senate are over sixty percent republicans.
So friends, there is no help coming, we can’t continue to wait. Tallahassee is unmoved by red t-shirts, bus tours, letters to the editor and decency and that’s why is we want to save public ed and the teaching profession it is up to us and that is going to mean a work stoppage of some kind.    
I think parents would support it, you see when education is alone on the ballot it always wins and poll after poll shows that people understand Tallahassee is not supporting our schools and teachers like they should. I also think school boards and supers who are put upon by Tallahassee as much as teachers are would support it.
You see teachers, school boards, supers and parents understand that education should not be political, it should be about doing the right thing. The problem we have is a political party in Tallassee the republicans aren’t interested in it.   
Friends this is a battle for the future of the teaching profession, the Union may be playing chess, but the governor and the republican party are playing smash the board with a baseball bat while tell your momma so fat jokes. At some point it will be fight or die and sadly it looks like the union is picking the latter.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

DeSantis doubles down on his terrible teacher pay proposal. Also tells union he doesn’t care what they think or want

I would say by and large DeSantis’s proposal to raise beginning teacher pay to 47,500 landed with a thud, but instead of listening to and working with teachers, he has doubled down.
From the Florida Phoenix,
Gov. Ron DeSantis said he hopes the 2020 legislative session, which begins in January, will open a “year of the teacher” in Florida, centered on his proposal to raise first-year teacher pay to $47,500 per year.
That would be one of the highest figures in the country for starting pay, national data show.
But DeSantis will be at odds with the Florida Education Association, which is pushing far broader pay reforms for public school teachers and staff.
The governor on Tuesday dismissed the statewide teacher union’s call for across-the-board pay raises – which would go beyond his own call for higher pay for first-year teachers – as politically motivated.
“Let’s not pretend there’s not politics involved with this,” DeSantis said when asked about the union initiative.
“It’s just the fact of the matter. I’m a Republican. They’re not. What I’m doing is never going to be enough. My job is not to do what the union wants – it’s what I think is best for education and particularly for individual teachers,” DeSantis said.
He made the remarks Tuesday during the Associated Press’s annual Legislative Planning Session. The AP invites top state leaders to address reporters about what they hope to accomplish. DeSantis was the first to speak this year, outlining an agenda that includes higher environmental spending, disaster relief, and health care initiatives.
Um, it’s not politically motivated to want all teachers including vet who have seen their salaries go backwards for the last decade, it is decency motivated something the stunt governor is obviously unfamiliar with.
Do what’s best for individual teachers? You mean accept those 75k teachers who wouldn’t see a dime.
The governor’s proposal is a bad joke that shouldn’t see the light of day.
Maybe however this will wake the union up to the fact he doesn’t care what they think or want. Not one bit and the union will now realize it's fight or die.
I will tell you this. If the union does not fight and a bill goes through giving first year teachers a big raise and vets nothing, I will give myself a raise and quit. The union better wake up.   

Monday, October 28, 2019

Who else has Gary Chartrand bought? Ju'Coby Pittman edition

Who else on the city council doesn’t owe Gary Chartrand? Ju’Coby Pittman edition.
I would like to give Mrs. Pittman some credit. I have seen the financials to the Clara White mission and unlike Rory Diamond and his charity K9 for warriors she isn’t using it as her personal ATM like he is. That being said WTF is nobody on the city council not beholden to Gary Chartrand?  
From News4jax,
 A Jacksonville couple has decided to stand up against across-the-board city budget cuts that left a local rescue mission scrambling to maintain its programs.
Gary and Nancy Chartrand are donating in a big way to the Clara White Mission, pledging $50,000 every year for the next five years.
Now you might be saying, but Chris this happened in 2014 there is no way Chartrand could have been grooming her for her role on the city council so she could oppose the referendum 5 years later, and sure I would concede that.
The thing is, have you ever wondered why Rick Scott a republican governor appointed a democrat to a city council seat when he could have appointed a republican? He has two seats to fill when the Browns were arrested but instead of appointing two republicans he didn’t and Pittman was appointed to fill one of the seats. I mean have you met Mrs. Pittman she doesn't exactly travel in Curry and Scott's circles.  
I am sure Rick Scott asked around, and I am equally sure Chartrand recommended her because you know what, like most of the board does, it would be somebody else there that owed him a favor, like say opposing the special tax referendum.
I can imagine the conversation.
Scott calls into the Family’s basement where they are drinking brown liquor, smoking cigars and cutting and eating apple slices.
Scott- You guys have a real mess over there, I am going to have to make two appointments, what two republicans do you have in mind.
Curry- I have some ideas, what about you Gary?
Chartrand- oh I have somebody perfect in mind, but they aren’t a republican.
Scott- um what?
Curry- no way.
Chartrand- here me out, I have somebody that owes me a big favor.
How else to you explain Pittman’s appointment?
Six figures, to Curry, Six figures to Fischer, a Million to Diamond, a quarter million to Pittman, thousands to a dozen others. People should know that a millionaire from Ponte Vedra is running the city and people should know what his agenda is.   

Saturday, October 26, 2019

More and more teachers are fighting back, when will Florida? (draft)

While the Chicago teacher strike has grabbed the headlines, another strike gets set to happen.

From Patch,.com

 Dedham's public school teachers have voted to go on strike, effective immediately. School will be closed Friday following the Dedham Education Association voted 275 to 2 in favor of the strike after negotiations between the union and the school district reached an impasse, union President Timothy Dwyer told the Boston Globe. 

Dwyer said the strike started over disagreements on salary increases, health care coverage and other issues. This will be the first strike in the state in 12 years. 

"The administration needs to sit down and bargain with us," Dwyer told the Globe. "We remain open to negotiations anytime, any place ... They were looking for concessions during good financial times, making us work more with little or no compensation." 

Dwyer said the association is prepared to strike until it has a fair contract for its teachers. DEA officials told CBS one of the main sticking points of a new contract for teachers is protection from sexual harassment. 

It's illegal for public school teachers to strike in Massachusetts.

https://patch.com/massachusetts/dedham/dedham-public-school-teachers-go-strike

Did you read that last line? It is illegal to strike there just like it was in West Virginia which kicked off the calls to action.

I know people are scared because they don't think teachers in Florida are allowed to strike. We should challenge that part of the constitution but even if it was upheld think about this, could they fire 80 thousand of us? I don't think so. 

The FEA doesn't seem to get it. Tallahassee has no intention of helping the teaching profession or public ed. No friends they plan to destroy them and if you need evidence just look at the last decade. We can wear red for ed everyday and it won't make a difference because they don't care.

I was incensed when three weeks ago the FEA said the governors proposal that left out 76k teachers and did nothing for veterans was a good first step. How did they not say it was a non starter and insulting at that.

We aren't having a policy debate, no we are fighting for the future of public ed and the teaching profession. Well we should be anyways.

Friends what is the FEA going to say when this legislative session is over and Tallahassee has added barely anything to the base pupil allotment, budgeted tens of millions more for charters and vouchers and started another merit pay scam that leaves teachers out? There is always next year? Write some more letters, keep wearing red, we still have the bus? Other cites and states are fighting while we are thanking them for terrible ideas. When will enough be enough?   

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The intellectual dishonesty of the city council was stunning

How did some of these people get elected? 
After spending nearly two hours haggling over how much to spend on outside, outside council, because the city council believes their personal 35-member office of general council can’t be trusted to advise them properly on sale of JEA, they went on to discuss Matt Carlucci’s referendum opposing Jason Fischer’s J1 bill that will ask the state legislature to make changes to Jacksonville’s charter, allowing for the city to change from an appointed to elected superintendent. The school board already has the power to do so but has declined coming out forcibly against the J1 bill.
Rory Diamond weighed in first breaking etiquette by trying to withdraw the referendum before there was a vote saying he thought since it didn’t have the force of law it was irrelevant. Imagine that he thought the council’s opinion on a matter that would affect all of Jacksonville is irrelevant. His motion failed so the council now had to go on the record.
There were two reasons council persons gave for not supporting the bill and it’s hard to tell which was more disingenuous. First, LeAnna Cumber and others said that they didn’t know which was better, an elected or appointed super. If you don’t know 98 percent of the country thinks it’s an appointed superintendent, with only two states Florida and Alabama allowing an elected super. It is true in Florida 41 of 67 counties have elected supers but those supers only represent about 15 percent of the state’s children as those districts are small or rural. There is a lot more evidence that says having an appointed super is better too but what’s amazing is Cumber and a few others said they couldn’t be bothered to look it up. That they didn’t care enough to do the research on a subject that will affect the entire city. Let that sink in.  
The second reason for opposing the referendum, was the need to let people vote. Michael Boylan basically said since people wanted to vote on the referendum, then people should have to vote on whether having an elected super of not. He didn’t mention once that as of now people can’t vote on the referendum and the majority of the city council did all they could to obstruct the school board and the sales tax vote. This means he must also believe we now have to vote on whatever proposal a state legislator comes up with no matter how ridiculous, harmful or petty.
Also that’s what the J1 bill is, ridiculous, harmful and petty. Fischer didn’t introduce this version of the J1 bill to help children, it won’t, and that makes it harmful. His first version was for an appointed school board which means he was for appointments and against elections before he was for elections and against appointments which makes it ridiculous and its petty because the intent behind his bill is to replace the superintendent who has arguably taken us higher than all the ones that came before her but who has not bent the knee to the city’s donor class, something they cannot stand.
The resolution ultimately failed 9-9 giving Fischer, Curry and their donors, who want to control the school system’s budget and real estate, a victory. Sadly, it will probably be up to the citizens of Jacksonville to take it away.

Monday, October 21, 2019

City attorney says shall means shall, um what the %$#&

I don't know if it was ignorance, chutzpah or if the city attorney was just trolling the city, but at the City Council vs School Board hearing to see if the SB can hire their own attorney, the city attorney definitively said Shall means Shall, nothing more nothing less. I couldn't make this stuff up even if I tried.



Friends, I think we have known for some time the fix was in but here the OGA just seems to be laughing at us. They are so corrupt and brazen they don't care who sees it.

Sigh

Jason Fischer sucks

There you go. I worked on that title for five minutes too.
In the piece below from Florida Politics, Fischer lies, attacks others, including republicans, and impugns people who disagree with him patriotism. After reading it, I thought Jason Fischer sucks, was the best and most appropriate title I could come up with.
Anybody else tired of him? Anybody else think he is an embarrassment?
Before you read the piece about the J1 bill and it is a must read, I want to remind everyone he was for an appointed school board, before he was for an elected super which means he was for appointments and against elections before he was for elections and against appointments. Also we know the only reason he is pushing his J1 bill is to satiate the mayor and his donors who are also not coincidently enough, the mayor’s donors.   
From Florida Politics, and my commentary is in bold.
Jacksonville state Rep. Jason Fischer is pushing a local bill that would start a process that could lead to an elected Duval County School Superintendent.

If the local bill passes, Duval voters in November 2020 would be able to vote on whether they want an elected Superintendent, setting up a potential 2022 election to select a replacement for a position appointed for decades.
The bill has proven controversial, ahead of a Duval County Legislative Delegation vote on whether to advance the local bill Nov. 1.
The Jacksonville City Council has delayed weighing in on the measure thus far.
Fischer on Oct. 8 asked for a deferral of the bill, with Council member Matt Carlucci (who opposes Fischer’s proposal) saying Fischer wanted to make the case for the local bill to the City Council in two weeks. However, he announced last week that he would not be at the City Council on the 22nd, as that date falls on a Tallahassee committee week. The Council will consider a resolution to oppose any changes to the School Board structure, and Fischer won’t be there. You know because Fischer A, doesn’t know how to work a calendar, B, he doesn’t care what the city council has to say because he feels like the fix is in with the republican dominated Duval delegation, C, both A and B.
This nettled Carlucci, per an email: “I deferred my bill of opposition out of courtesy upon Rep. Fishers last minute request just before our last city council meeting (where school board members and members of the public took time to attend) because he said he would drive back from Tallahassee to address the Jacksonville City Council at our next meeting. Just thought you all should know he will now be unable to attend that said meeting.”
“It’s hard to play ball under such a set of rules,” Carlucci added.
Fischer said he had no intention of getting back to the City Council in person, with the committee work at the Capitol being priority. He has, however, lobbied many members with personal phone calls, even as he stresses that he’s not involved in “advocacy” for the bill. He’s definitely not, no town halls, no community meetings not even a tweet or facebook post. You would think if he thought it was important he would give it a little boost but he hasn’t and it’s my bet it is because he thinks the fix is already in.
“I hope they embrace letting the voters in their district vote,” Fischer said. This vote, not the one for the referendum, let’s be clear, he is for people voting on things he likes but against people voting for things he doesn’t. Also before you call me a hypocrite at least pretend you know the origins of Fischer’s proposal. If you do, then like many of us you should be outraged. This J1 bill isn’t meant to improve education or even voter/super relationships, it’s meant to punish a political foe and to seize control of the districts resources and assets.   
In a conversation late last week in his office in Tallahassee, Fischer discussed the twists and turns in the local bill process, insisting that the State Legislature alone has the power to make law on this one.
And in that context, a City Council resolution to support or oppose his proposal makes no difference.
“They have no force of law. They’re a statement by them,” Fischer said. “Their opinions are interesting.”
But all governments are subsidiary to the state government, Fischer said. He just said the state government can do whatever they want and localities just have to take it. What do you think about that?
“When I filed the bill, the charter and delegation rules suggest we send it to the City Council or the affected agency, and I did that,” Fischer said.
The School Board, the “affected agency” in question, opposed Fischer’s proposal.
Carlucci, as Fischer insisted on many occasions, has no standing. The school board has standing and you ignored them?
“He found a way to gain a bunch of headlines by inserting himself into processes that he wasn’t welcome to, and this is one of those,” Fischer said. “Nobody asked for his opinion.” Nobody asked for Carlucci’s opinion? Nobody cares what elected politicians think about things that will affect their city? People care, and if Fischer cared about people he would know that.
“I’m not sure if he’s opposing democracy,” Fischer said, saying it’s “hypocritical” to call for votes on JEA or the sales tax referendum, but not on the elected Superintendent question. So he thinks people who are calling for a vote for the referendum but are against the vote for electing a super our hypocrites?  The stupidity here burns. He is against the vote on the referendum!!! He doesn’t want people to vote on it. Also democracy does not mean you have to vote on every fever dream a corrupt and unethical politician comes up with.   
Fischer noted the School Board’s opposition doesn’t matter, given voters are “wildly supportive of elected positions, like an elected Superintendent.” A straight up lie, Fischer is a straight up liar. Matt Schellenberg, no friend of public ed all but called him that at a meeting of the charter review commission. Who is for it? His donors, that’s all. Also are these the same people he said were wildly for an appointed school board?
Fischer noted that he was willing to testify to the Rules Committee, but that opportunity wasn’t extended to him. Did he ask? Carlucci has been very deferential to him? If he would have shown up do you think the committee would have ignored him? What about making a public comment you know like all citizens can do?  I have a feeling this may technically be true what he said, but it’s a kernel of truth among a cob of lies.
The concept has been discussed generally with Speaker Jose Oliva, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, and Gov. Ron DeSantis, as part of an ongoing conversation about education reform. An ongoing discussion? Is that to force every district to have an elected super? What other discussion could there be?

Ultimately, Fischer stresses that the lawmaking process for this one will in in Tallahassee. The lawmaking process that effects Jacksonville will be in Tallahassee? He just snubbed his nose at home rule which I thought was a tenant of the republican party? This friends is just more proof he only cares about advancing his personal interests and he thinks he has a better chance to do so with his rich donors than with the people of Jax.
“You can kind of chirp on the sidelines,” he said, “or get in the game over here.” This is what he thinks of Carlucci a veteran local politician who may be the most popular man in the city. He doesn’t say I disagree with Carlucci, instead he treats him with disdain.
so to sum up, Fischer sucks, and more and more people need to realize it.