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Friday, August 8, 2014

The difference between the JPEF and their board

If you have read my blog you may think I am on a one-man vendetta against the Jacksonville Public Education fund. I have been ultra critical of their bard members seemingly trying to buy influence and acting as a shadow school board.

The truth is I think they do some great things. Hooking up donors with teachers is genius, trying to get the public motivated and involved is desperately needed and they have some very nice statistical tools on the web site that are very informative too. In short they are doing some really nice things.

I spoke with their president Trey Csar last night and I have to say I find him both affable and sincere. I really think he cares about the direction of our schools and the fate of our children and it’s okay that we may have different philosophies and ides on how to improve things. We spoke last night at the district 2 forum and he asked if I thought they were fair and impartial with their questions and to be honest I thought they did a pretty good job though their was a desperate need for follow up questions and for correcting wrong answers. He also made the point that there was a line between he and his staff and the board, a line that isn’t crossed when it comes to the debates.

Here is the thing and I know you saw it coming. I don’t think the board of the JPEF are sitting around like the legion of doom plotting how to end our schools, Chartrand is not Lex Luthor. But I do see them sitting around saying if only we were in control, then things would be a lot better. The school district however is not a company they can come in and buy and take over so they have to use their money and stature to put themselves in a place to do so, like say donating to school board candidates in each race or starting the JPEF which will now be managing millions of dollars, admittedly grants, but that’s how it starts.

To think the JPEF board has no influence on what the JPEF does and that they aren’t building an education power base is ridiculous. Now you might agree with and like their agenda but at the end of the day they definitely have an agenda, one that I believe means reducing the teaching profession, privatizing our schools and replacing democracy with an oligarchy. 

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