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Friday, March 27, 2015

Saying Jason Fischer represents district 7 is a bit of a stretch

Saying Jason Fischer represents District 7 is a liberal interpretation of the facts, yes he was elected but rather than the people in District 7 he represents Jeb Bush and the privatization movement and make no mistake when he talks about school choice, privatization is what he is really talking about.

First let’s talk about charter schools. Over 270 in Florida have taken public money and closed leaving families and communities in a lurch, including a half dozen in Jacksonville.. Also according to the Stanford Credo and a Jacksonville Public Education Fund study, Jacksonville’s charter schools as a group under perform when compared to the public schools. In fact the only ones that are doing well are either in neighborhoods that have traditionally done well or spend about a third more per child (KIPP) to educate them

Then there are vouchers, the same JPEF study lamented that we have no idea how they are doing. Furthermore not only does most of the money go to religious schools and they don’t have to take the same standardized tests that public schools do but the system is set up so they don’t even have to report how the money they receive is spent. Accountability it seems is a necessity for public schools but less than an after though for voucher schools.

These which drain resources out of the schools, again from the JPEF study, are two of the choice options that Fischer praises.

Jacksonville also recently voted overwhelmingly that employees should live within the city limits, well Fischer is advocating with HB 1145, that Duval educate children who not only don’t live in the district but whose parents don’t pay taxes here either.

Manny Diaz r-Hialeah when shilling for the bill said, “There should be no hesitation in allowing a student who has not been provided the right opportunity in whatever arbitrary, designated county they live in to be able to cross that line and get a better opportunity,” he said. “I will tell you that if that school district and that school that that student is supposed to be zoned for is doing their job and providing them the best opportunity, the parent’s not going to be looking for another one.

Yes no hesitation and if schools weren’t crappy then parents wouldn’t have their kids leave. Or maybe there are just too many back kids, or poor kids, or some other petty reason that people sometimes use to make decisions.

Also how isn’t this going to further segregate our schools? What poor or middle class parent can drive their child across the county line day in and day out? That would be none. All this is going to do is further drain resources from schools that can’t afford to lose them and Diaz and Fischer think that is a winning proposal.

Fischer is also for fiscal accountability, except for voucher schools which don’t have to report how the money is spent and for Charter schools many of which are for profit. It’s also interesting to see an elected official advocating for the end of democracy. Charter and Private school boards are not elected.  

I have long said public schools need more choice options and I applaud the district for creating dozens and dozens more but charter schools and vouchers schools aren’t here to add choices they are here to replace public schools and since charters do worse and voucher schools are without accountability it’s a bad deal for all of us. Just like Jason Fischer has been for district 7.

Finally, I am not sure how many of you know this but before Jason Fischer loved education, he loved soil and water; he just wasn’t elected to the soil and water board. Then just a little after the two year mark of his term he announced he was going to run for the state house. His biggest supporters have been charter school and voucher interests, one of who he works for.

1 comment:

  1. If children attend schools out-of-district, the FTE goes with them but not the local taxes raised for the schools. I probably shouldn't say that, once the legislature figures that out, they'll mandate the taxpayers from one county pay for schools in another. I'm not worried about Duval, our c-ouch-appy schools are not likely to attract from our neighbors. St. Johns better watch out, though. Anybody in our wealthy Southside communities who cannot win the lottery for our best schools will be coming their way!