Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Friday, March 30, 2018

Scott Shine has raised just 1000 dollars in the last six months

Why is this news?

Mr. Shine by far was the first one to announce his run for school board doing so in March of 2017 some 18 months before the election, and then he announced huge donations as well.

Right now if you go to the supervisors of election page you will see he has raised over thirty thousand dollars the most of the thirteen people running for school board by far.

So why is that news?

Okay, people get in the race early to scare other people out and then they show huge fund raising totals to further scare potential opponents. Shine can check both of those things off the list.

Here however is where it gets interesting, he gave himself 20,000 of the 30,525 he has. That means he has only raised a little over ten thousand dollars and most of that came from the city's so called elites that he answers to.

Furthermore he has raised only a thousand dollars since last August and six other candidates have raised more than that and that money came from a conservative political action committee. This means not one citizen or local business has supported his reelection campaign in over six months. 

My point is there is no reason for potential candidates to be afraid of this guy, his record is so bad  that money is not going to win this race but the problem is nobody has stepped up to run against him.

Now there was one potential opponent a UNF professor but he dropped out when he was told he would have to quit his job if he won. That is a whole different story as "the city's elites" probably conspired to protect Shine. More on this soon.   

Somebody, preferably a couple people from district 2 need to step up. If you are afraid because he is the incumbent or because he seems to have raised a lot of money don't be. He is very beatable and the city and district 2 deserve better representation than Scott Shine has given. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Daryl Willie only gives part of the picture about Teach for America

 Darryl Willie, executive director of Teach for America Jacksonville recent letter to the editor about the benefits of the organization was chalk full of platitudes but very light on details and gave a misleading picture of the organization.

Teach for America exacerbates the teacher retention problem and please don't take my word for it ask the district what they have to say. The vast majority of Teach for America teachers haven't stayed past their two-year commitment assuring they have to be replaced at a higher rate than other teachers.

Teach for America is incredibly expensive. the Quality Education for All initiative sent Darryl Willie's office five million dollars last summer, money that will never see the inside of a class room. Then there are the millions that DCPS has paid in finder’s fees and additional training, because new teachers require more training than veteran teachers, over the years.

Teach for America is not fair. If you are a TFA teacher after your two years are up, you get about six thousand dollars to pay off student loans or for grad school. If you are an education major at UNF after your first two years are up, you get a "thanks for coming."   

Teach for America does the exact opposite of what our most vulnerable children need. It assures an ever-revolving door of novice teachers are in our neediest schools, when those schools need veteran teachers who know what they are doing and stability.

Finally, Mr. Willie mentioned the latest teacher of the year, Stephanie Bellino, is a TFA alum and I am sure she is a fine teacher. Though I think this third-year teacher's win has as much to do with the fact the president of the organization who picks the teacher of the year, Trey Csar of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, is a TFA alum too. 

Some people may like Teach for America and I make no judgement about the quality of the people they send to our classrooms. Anybody who shows up whether it be from TFA or a more traditional avenue deserves our respect. That being said, our children deserve professional teachers who will stay longer than two years in our classrooms.

Chris Guerrieri
School Teacher

Rick Scott signs school crippling budget

Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature like to tell people they have invested 400 million dollars in school security but what they won’t tell you is they forced school districts to use money they had earmarked for teacher raises, paying for rising health costs and numerous other business costs to fund it.  They also won’t tell you to cover all the increases to fixed costs, they allocated just forty-seven cents extra per student, or less than the cost of a postage stamp.

In Duval County that comes to a little over sixty thousand dollars and to give you some scale that is less than the cost of one teacher when you include salary and benefits. They also did all this while increasing payments to charter schools and expanding vouchers which will siphon tens of millions more away from public education.

Superintendent Pat Willis said, Our first priority is the safety and education of our students. A 47-cent per student increase actually represents a loss of funding to Duval schools. Utility, health, property insurance, and other business costs continue to rise for our school district, just as they do for our citizens and businesses across Duval County.  An increase of just 47 cents per student jeopardizes the funding needed for important student programs, as well as the increases needed for operating expenses.

Just as troubling is the republican members of the Duval Delegation, Bean, Byrd, Yarbrough, Fant and Fischer voted to hurt our public schools by starving them of resources.

Governor Scott has already signed the budget though we can do something and that is in the future vote for representatives who support and want to improve our schools rather than dismantle them and mislead the public about what they are doing.

Chris Guerrieri
School Teacher

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

For profit charter school chain, CUSA demands districts provide extra security

The Chutzpah of Charter Schools USA one of the biggest for profit charter school chains is off the charts. 

From the Tampa Times:

Just days after Gov. Rick Scott signed Florida's new school safety rules into law, one of the state's largest charter schools made a big ask of the 13 districts where it operates.
"In keeping with the spirit of the Act, we request that a full time School Resource Officer be provided to each of the public charter schools identified below starting on April 1, 2018," wrote William J. Poirier, chief security officer for Fort Lauderdale-based Charter Schools USA.
Many of the districts, including Hillsborough, have declared they cannot afford to place resource officers at each of their own schools, much less at charter schools that operate independently under the district's sponsorship.
Some suggested that while the new school safety law required all public schools have at least one armed "safe-school officer," it does not mandate that school districts pay for and hire the officers to work at the charter schools.
CUSA's CEO Jonathan Hage has made a pretty penny putting charters in neighborhoods that don't need them, costing school district's hundreds of millions of dollars. CUSA can afford their own armed officers but they don't make money by paying for things by themselves.
Nearly 400 charter schools have open taken public money and closed leaving communities in a lurch, and they should not get one dime more.  

Scott Shine thinks his sh*t doesn't stink

Sorry for the bombastic title but sometimes you have to call them like you see them.

Mr. Shine has another target and that is Claire Goforth, the editor of the Folio. Like many people, including the people on the Friday News roundup on First Coast Connect, she questioned Scott Shine's decision to vote against arming teachers in Duval.

Now Shine has said he is against arming teachers he just didn't want to vote against what the state legislature was doing and what other districts might do. I guess Mr. Shine didn't read the resolution before he voted because it only had to do with Duval.

It's my bet it was his friends at the National Rifle Association that he really didn't want to disappoint. 
Well when Claire dared question him he lambasted her in a letter to the Folio saying among other things:

-Her comment (in a piece about gun violence in schools) is an absolute disgrace

-Claire Goforth's statement is clearly the most insulting and inappropriate that he has ever seen in a local publication.

-It is an insult to him and the victims of gun violence.

-The folio and Jacksonville deserve better.

Becoming unhinged he doesn't try and explain his side and open up a dialogue, instead he goes on the offensive and attacks and I find his pretty ironic because of all the times he has attacked others including me.

A year and a half ago, he called me a parasite, and said I was maladaptive and shouldn't be a teacher because I dared seek to hold him accountable for the things he has said and done and this was on the heels of him calling me a liar in Florida Politics and leaving nasty comments on the blog.

Shine thinks he can say and do whatever he wants and people are just supposed to bend over and take it. None are allowed to dare question the great and powerful Shine. Only he is allowed to have opinions and woe to you if you disagree with his.

These are the facts. Scott Shine was given the opportunity to vote against arming teachers and he chose not to. This is my opinion, though I believe it is backed up by his words, when somebody questioned him, he lashed out like a spoiled child.

In his letter to Folio, he said Jacksonville deserves better, well he is right, we deserve much better than him. It is time for somebody in district 2 to step up.

Monday, March 12, 2018

District employees, give your two cents about who the district should hire for superintendent on 3/14

Wednesday, March 14
  • Time: 6:00 p.m.
  • Location: DCPS District Office, Cline Auditorium, 1701 Prudential Drive

I get it, we're beat up, we don't think anybody listens. It's two days before spring break and the last thing we want to think about is who the next super will be.

I get it.

But at the same time don't we have to stand up and make our voices heard? Don't we have to? I think we do.

Things are never going to change for the better as long as we keep our heads down and just hope for the best.

Tallahassee gives Duval an extra 47 cents per student

No I didn't make a mistake there, forty-seven cents per student is all Tallahassee budgeted. Earlier in the year Governor Scott asked for an extra 120 plus dollars.

That is about sixty thousand dollars or less than the cost of one teacher when you factor in salary and benefits. That is all Tallahassee allocated and its shameful.

That can't possibly keep up with increases in fixed costs like teachers salaries, health care, transportation and so many other things.

This also happened while the state siphoned billions more away from pubic schools to charters and private schools most of which have practicaly no over site, that take vouchers.

You just knew something was going to get hurt when the state budgeted extra money for school security, and it's sadly public schools that are going to pay the price. It's one step forward miles and miles back.

Tallahassee is purposely starving our schools and I have to ask is that what my republican friends voted for? If so shame on you.

Here is a letter superintendent Willis sent out explaining how dire the situation is.

In my role as superintendent of Duval County Public Schools, I am strongly urging Gov. Rick Scott to veto the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) portion of the 2018-19 General Appropriations Act as proposed by the Florida Legislature.

Superintendents from the 10 largest school districts in Florida are united in opposition to this budget, which provides a mere 47-cent increase in the base student allocation (BSA). The BSA is the only source of flexible funding school districts receive to address the inflationary costs of running an education system and providing needed raises for our hard-working teachers and school support personnel.

Gov. Scott’s recommended budget included a $152 increase in the BSA, acknowledging school districts’ financial needs in a $88.7 billion budget that would be the largest in Florida’s history and $5 billion more than the current year. Gov. Scott also proposed funding of $450 million for his Keep Students Safe plan. Duval’s portion of this proposal based on FTE should be about $18 million of new funding. Our overall increase, including operating funds and school safety funds, was just $9.9 million.

The proposed BSA increase of 47 cents per student (.01 percent) equals an additional $60,505.95 for Duval County Public Schools for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. This amount does not even cover our average teacher’s salary plus benefits.

The overall FEFP per-student increase for Duval’s children is only $69.31 each, compared to the statewide average of $101.50 per student. Although legislators will suggest that this is a significant increase, the Legislature mandates the specific programs on which almost all of that increase must be spent -- primarily on safe schools and mental health programs -- removing any flexibility districts have in deciding how to best appropriate the funds.

While we appreciate the increase in school safety funding, Duval’s share will not be enough to provide a school resource officer at each school. We need those funds for sworn officers protecting our schools. To that end, I encourage full funding of SB 7026.

Our first priority is the safety and education of our students. A 47-cent per student increase actually represents a loss of funding to Duval schools. Utility, health, property insurance, and other business costs continue to rise for our school district, just as they do for our citizens and businesses across Duval County.  An increase of just 47 cents per student jeopardizes the funding needed for important student programs, as well as the increases needed for operating expenses.

Duval County Public Schools, like the State of Florida, has achieved record high graduation rates and continuously improving student outcomes. Our students, our families, our schools, and our staff have earned and deserve greater support from our state. I am asking Gov. Scott to veto this shocking funding level, as he did last year, and ask the Legislature to go back and provide the appropriate increases in the base student allocation and school safety funding.

Dr. Willis Signature  
Dr. Patricia S. Willis

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Scott Shine represents the NRA and special interests, not his constituents.

J.C. Chris you write about Scott Shine a lot. I know, I know and I wish I didn't have to and I seriously look forward to the day when I won't have to anymore.

Seriously though google his name and set the filter to a week. He's quoted in more articles than all the other school bard members combined. He is without a doubt a media insert your word here, and you will see he gives me plenty of fodder. 

So I have long covered how Shine has never met a charter school he didn't like, putting them ahead of his constituents, well now we can add the NRA to that list of special interests he serves.  

Despite saying he was against arming teachers he voted against a resolution that was against arming teachers.

From the Times Union:

Scott Shine was the only board member to vote against the district’s resolution. He said that although he is against arming teachers or other school staff, the proposed law change would leave it up to school districts to decide.
“I don’t want to take a position of saying no to what the legislature is doing when other districts want to do this,” Shine said, referring to Putnam County, which announced last week that certain district employees would be trained and armed with concealed weapons.
Oy vey, what he didn't want to do was take a position against the NRA who I have recently learned he is an instructor for.
Later he called into First Coast Connect to defend his position. He however would not take any questions and the media panel was pretty unforgiving.
Check out the recording at about the 20 minute mark. 
A long time reader wrote: 
Can somebody explain to me why Shine voted against this resolution? Is he just being a contrarian does he really believe the stuff that comes out of his mouth? He's against arming teachers but he doesn't want to put it on record in a vote. At least this self proclaimed firearms instructor remains in good standing with the NRA who are always looking to expand their market share. 

Scott Shine was the only board member to vote against the district’s resolution. He said that although he is against arming teachers or other school staff, the proposed law change would leave it up to school districts to decide.

“I don’t want to take a position of saying no to what the legislature is doing when other districts want to do this,” Shine said, referring to Putnam County, which announced last week that certain district employees would be trained and armed with concealed weapons

Mr. Shine is a terrible representative of the people because he only represents his and his donors interests not the peoples.

District 2, you can and must do better.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Councilman Bill Guilford tries to protect his friend Scott Shine

Do you know why people hate politicians? It's because they don't do things because its right, they do it to get something.

Okay here is the reader's digest version. Last summer UNF professor Tim Groulx filed to run for the school board. Unfortunately for Groulx he lives in a backward county and if he were to win since he is a state employee he would have to quit his job. This by the way is not a state provision, its a Duval one. If he lived in a different county and was running for a different board he would be able to keep his job.

Since it would be a relatively easy fix and it shouldn't be a rule anyway, Groulx went to his city council representative Bill Guilford who for all intensive purposes agreed to help, until this past week anyways.  


During a committee meeting Monday, city lawyer Peggy Sidman said Gulliford's amendment was meant to give other would-be candidates more time to prepare.
“There was some concern… that if it were to take place now,” she said, “there were individuals that may have run that didn’t run for the upcoming election, so they wanted to delay it to not take effect until 2019.”
Guilford said an additional reason to hold off on the rule change until next year is Groulx had said he planned to run in 2022.
“He said that he was not going to run this term so I felt like — no surprises — if we pass this thing, let’s just start off fresh, next round, since we’re already into campaigning,” Gulliford said. “This will give people an opportunity to prepare for it.”
Groulx, however, maintains he always planned to run in 2018 against District 2 board member Scott Shine if the bill passes. He filed to run last summer.
“I haven’t removed myself from the candidacy in any way,” he said. “I’ve been maintaining my Facebook account regarding wanting to run.”
Groulx said he’s skeptical about Gulliford’s motivation behind the amendment because, as he points out, Gulliford wrote to him in an August email, “It seems that Scott Shine has been a pretty good school board member. That said and knowing the difficulty in finding good candidates, if this legislation passes I sure would hope you would make yourself available to run in the 2022 race.”
Groulx told WJCT News, “I thought we were working towards changing the laws for democracy and not doing something to necessarily support people we like.”
But Gulliford denied his amendment has anything to do with who Groulx’s opponent is.
Ugh, just so you know potential candidates have till June to qualify and the election isn't until August, furthermore as I said, Groulx went to Guilford last freaking July. There is absolutely no good reason why the bill allowing state workers to run shouldn't proceed but there are a couple bad ones.
Chief among them is Guilford is trying to protect his friend Shine who is part of the political class. He likes Shine and apparently cares less about allowing democracy to work, though it gets worse.
I spent about 20 minutes at the supervisor of elections site and I found these common donors between Guilford and Shine:
Wayne Weaver 1000 both Guilford and Shine
Preston Haskell/Haskell company 300/250
W.C. Gentry 1000/1000
The Frisch Family 1000/1000
Karen Lee 250/250
Gate companies 1000/1000

Twenty minutes, who wants to bet there are more?

District 2 deserves better than Scott Shine and it's to bad that their city council person isn't interested in doing what is right and allowing them to have another qualified candidate.

In Jacksonville we are not being led, we are being ruled.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Our lords at the Civic Council want special treatment

Sometimes when I talk about the city's elite and how they want to run and profit off of public education and how they don't have our schools and teachers best interests in mind, I feel a little bit like I am off in the woods by myself. 

Then the Civic Council, Chartrand, Rummel, Petway, Haskell, Weaver and others rear their ugly heads and I don't feel so alone after all.

Let me just let their words do the talking for them.

From the Times Union:

  A powerful business organization, the Jacksonville Civic Council, complained to Duval’s School Board on Wednesday that they have not been given enough time to weigh in on the type of superintendent the district should choose.
The district held a meeting for business people to provide input at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in Springfield but only two people attended.
The meeting was one of 10 community and stakeholder meetings that are supposed to help the Duval County School Board create a profile for the superintendent search. However, most of the meetings have been sparsely attended so far.
Board Chairwoman Paula Wright said many community members have already voiced their opinions about what they want in a new superintendent in four community forums held months ago to discuss district strategic plans, so she was not surprised at the small attendance of fewer than a dozen people at most of the recent community and stakeholder meetings.
Another community meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at The Legends Center, 5130 Soutel Drive.
A letter to Wright and the rest of the board sent later in the day indicated Civic Council members felt they didn’t have enough time to clear their schedules to attend. Civic Council president Jeanne M. Miller wrote that council members needed more than 10 days notice, at least two weeks, “due to the exceptional demands on their individual travel and work schedules.”
Miller noted in her letter that Wright apparently scheduled a meeting with the JAX Chamber’s board of directors for March 16. She asked Wright to make a similar accommodation to meet with Civic Council members.
“On behalf of the Jacksonville Civic Council, I wish to express our disappointment that you have declined our request for a timely noticed meeting,” she said.
“The Jacksonville Civic Council stands ready to provide you and the entire school board with insight from this region’s top employers on the workforce needs of the future .... As the leader of one of the state’s largest and most complex school districts, you cannot afford to leave the foremost employers of your eventual graduates out of this conversation.”
... The Civic Council has said this is a rushed process, urging that the decision be delayed so that future board members running for open seats could be included in the selection process.
So let me get this straight, the couldn't be bothered to attend any of the community meetings that us regular folks were able to attend, ten days notice wasn't good enough for them and they want, no demand their own private meeting to discuss who the next superintendent should be. 
Oy vey, if I was the school board, I wouldn't let them anywhere near the process because they don't want to get their two cents in, they want their hand picked superintendent in place and they figure if they wait to next fall when hopefully they have collected a few more school board members they can make sure it happens. 
They are not like us, they are used to having their way and that is part of the reason where we find ourselves. It's time the board said, no, to the Civic Council, because we know who ever they want would represent them and not the people of Jacksonville. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Florida votes to end collective bargaining for many teacher unions

For a state with a teacher recruitment and retention problem, Tallahassee seems to be doing everything it can to dismantle its public schools and destroy teaching as a profession.

Their latest effort is house bill 7055 which sends billions more to private schools that have little in the way of requirements and over site and requires teacher unions with less than 50 percent membership to decertify.

Notice I said teacher unions because the bill exempts police, fire and prison guard unions, you know unions made up of mostly men and who vote republican. 

From the Gainesville Sun:

he 198-page bill, HB 7055, calls to decertify teacher unions across the state, opening teachers up to possible pay cuts and termination.
About 40 people rallied outside State Sen. Keith Perry’s district office Monday morning calling on him to reject a bill that could do away with unions representing school teachers.
Perry, R-Gainesville, later voted in support of the bill anyway, helping it pass the Senate floor Monday with a 20-17 vote. The amended bill will now go back to the House.
The 198-page bill, HB 7055, calls to decertify teacher unions across the state if the makeup of a union is less than 50 percent of the teachers for that district.
“It’s a war on public schools,” said Eileen Roy, Alachua County School Board member.
This bill is even worse than last years HB 7069 if you can believe it.
I just wonder if my republican friends intentionally voted for the systematic destruction of public education and ending teaching as a profession, because that's what their representatives in Tallahassee are intent on doing.   
Some of you might be thinking pubic education is broken and needs to be redone but I would like to point out that its the republicans in Tallahassee looking to profit off of it and appease their donors who have been completely in charge of the state government for over 20 years. Yes there are problems but you are rewarding the people who have created them.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Teachers, looking for a second job? DCPS SB member Scott Shine has some suggestions

Just when you think there may be a sliver of hope for the guy, DCPS school board member  Scott Shine, he calls in to First Coast Connect and suggests teachers become auxiliary police officers.

I want to be fair to the guy, also I don't want to be written up, and called a liar or worse so check it out, he calls in at about the nineteen minute point.

Like teachers, even those in rural counties don't have enough on thier plates already.

Shine has come out against arming teachers but he seems to have added the caveat, except those that become auxiliary officers and its something that teachers should think about becoming.


Arming teachers, is a terrible idea.

Having teachers become auxiliary officers seems terrible as well.

Having teachers who are auxiliary officers carry guns ins schools is just as bad too.

Sadly the right seems to be bending over backwards to come up with solutions to gun violence except the most obvious one.

The District and JPEF have celebration of teachers that they don't invite teachers to.

They say it’s the little things that matter, let’s find out.

The District partnered with the Jacksonville Public Education Fund to kick off an event at City Hall to honor teachers.

From the Times Union:

School district and city officials gathered in City Hall’s atrium Thursday to launch a year-long campaign to collectively thank teachers.
The program, sponsored by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, is an effort to encourage the public and many of the region’s top leaders to think about how teachers touched their lives and their community, said Trey Csar, president of the public education fund, which researches and supports public education.
There is a traveling art exhibit, which includes an interactive kiosk resembling a massive coffee table book. In it, readers can touch the pages and watch videos of Jacksonville’s leaders describing a special teacher’s impact on them.
The installation will remain at City Hall through Monday and then travel throughout the county, Csar said.
A major goal is to encourage at least 100,000 people to tweet about their teachers over the next 12 months, using the hashtag #JaxThanksATeacher and tagging @JaxPEF. Or, people can express themselves and hear about teachers on the website
Teacher appreciation is important, Csar said, because Duval County loses about half the new teachers it hires within five to seven years. Nationally, a growing teacher shortage is expected to worsen because the numbers of college students majoring in education is plunging.

Sounds great right? I mean I could argue that JPEF is not a pro teacher organization but there they are partnering with the district and the city to celebrate teachers, it’s great, sigh, except.

Except they had it at noon and didn’t invite any teachers. That’s right they had a celebration of teachers without any teachers when teachers could not attend even if they were invited. 

Wouldn’t it have been nice to at least have teachers attend?

It’s the little things right, like having a celebration of teachers when they could attend and maybe inviting them as well.

Csar is right, teacher appreciation is important, in lieu of a raise anyways, and perhaps in the future we should include teachers in any celebrations of them.

You know how you could really celebrate teachers? How about by voting for representatives who want to support teachers and public education rather than dismantle it like many of Duvals' do now. Fant, Bean, Fischer, and Byrd are some of the worst of the worst. If you really want to appreciate teachers vote them out.

Jacksonville right...  

Thursday, March 1, 2018

DCPS makes the right call on not arming teachers

The bottom line is teachers have to many responsibilities now to add carrying and maintaining a firearm while at school and potentially taking a life, to them. 

Teachers already wear so many hats and are under appreciated and over worked as it is ludicrous that some people think arming teachers is a good idea and I for one applaud our board and super for acknowledging that and by saying DCPS will not be arming its teachers.

From the Times Union:

Most of Duval’s School Board members said Wednesday they won’t authorize teachers or other staff to be armed in schools, even if the state Legislature passes a bill making that possible.
Five of the seven board members said they will instead sign a resolution early next month that supports Gov. Rick Scott’s school safety proposals, instead of the proposals currently being discussed in Florida’s House and Senate. Two board members were absent.
The board members all said they like that Scott’s call for spending $500 million to put an armed law enforcement officer at every public school and extra officers for every 1,000 students enrolled in each school.
Scott’s proposal does not call for arming teachers or other school staff, while the state House and Senate bills do. President Donald Trump also is championing arming school employees.
Proponents of arming teachers will say if somebody intending to do harm knew there were armed teachers they would be detoured from doing so. Well Nicholas Cruz had to know Parkland had an armed officer and that did not stop him.
There are just to many chances where something could go wrong and I point to a good samaritan in Texas shot by the police after disarming a suspect and a teacher just this past week in Georgia discharging his weapon in a classroom as examples.  
The solution to guns is not more guns.
The truth is as long as we live in a gun society where some people feel their right to own guns is worth the occasional slaughter of children at school, people at the movies or a concert, or a Sunday congregation there is nothing we can do to make us absolutely safe, including arming teachers and turning schools into prisons, but we can do better if we as a society decide we want to.
DCPS has made the right call.