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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spinning around Jacksonville’s education dial

The NAACP is looking into the fact that none of the 38 teachers at Jacksonville’s newest elementary school are African American. I believe we should strive to put the best and most qualified teachers in our classrooms whether they are white, black, red, yellow or green and I hope the NAACP believes this too. Sadly I also I believe there are employment decisions based solely on race made in the country though I am not sure if this is the case here. It is however hard to imagine that qualified minority applicants did not apply.

Comcast is offering the internet at a reduced rate to some of the county’s poorest students. It is unfortunate that some people have referred to this act of corporate citizenship as a give away to moochers. Society should make every effort to help our children be successful in school and businesses that assist with this should be applauded not ridiculed. Good Job Comcast!!!

An education consultant recommended shutting several smaller schools to save millions of dollars. Ironically Bill Gates first education initiative called for smaller learning communities. Where I think this should be looked into especially during these troubling financial times, I think the consulting firm missed the bigger picture. Nowhere in the study did I find the answer to the question, how are children arriving to high school without discipline and the academic skills they need, a work ethic and prerequisite knowledge. Till we answer that question I believe the district will continue to flounder.

Next the city finance committee proposed slashing 3.5 million dollars from the library budget. I wonder if they have had their heads under rocks or have just been out of the city. Every day it seems like there have been stories about how many of our children struggle with reading. So what does the city council do to help, close and cut library services that’s what.

Finally and this is also of a state issue, the Education Committee reported that the state’s education budget is looking at an additional 345 million in cuts or about 55 million less than what the governors personal budget increased by this past year. This early indicator should show the citizens of Florida that education is just not a priority to our leaders in Tallahassee. Florida does not have a revenue problem, it has a priority problem and education is not one of them.

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