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Friday, March 15, 2019

Tallahassee pitches its end game for public education. Will this wake up the unions and have them fight for the right to strike?

For over a decade Tallahassee has underfunded education and attacked the teaching profession. That's like the set up before a spike in volleyball. Now they are going in for the kill with their massive and overtly unconstitutional voucher scheme.

Let me explain it like this. Say I wanted to sell one million pencils. I couldn't do it tomorrow just like Tallahassee couldn't pass a law saying lets end public education and the teaching profession as we know it, today. No, I would have to build capacity. I would have to find manufacturers, suppliers, retail space etc. Then once I had everything in place, I could sell my million pencils.

Two weeks ago DeSantis proposed massive tax breaks for charter schools to expand into 250 neighborhoods, hmm do you know who tax breaks hurt, those entities that depend on taxes like schools. 

Then this week, an unprecedented expansion of vouchers passed the house education committee, quintupling down on the already devastating bill that passed the senate education committee a week before.  

From the Miami Herald, 

The House bill, like its Senate companion, proposes to create a new voucher called the Family Empowerment Scholarship, which is designed to eliminate the waiting list of about 14,000 low-income students for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship. Both chambers propose to fund the voucher through general revenue dollars typically set aside for school districts.
However, the House version represents a much more aggressive approach. Rather than offer 14,000 vouchers — like the Senate does — to match the number of students on the wait list, the House proposes to fund double, at 28,000 vouchers for the next school year.
The House also would allow families from a much broader income bracket to be eligible. The House bill would allow families making up to 300 percent of the federal poverty line, or about $77,250 for a family of four, to apply for the voucher, according to the bill analysis. That income threshold would steadily rise over time, allowing families that make up to $96,572 to participate in the 2022-2023 school year.

There was no debate about ending the accountability, standards, certifications, etc that are required from public schools and teachers, and that private schools are exempt from, just a race to end public schools as fast as possible.

Why didn't they day 280,000 or 2.8 million? Well friends its the pencil analogy, they have to build capacity but make no mistake, that is what they are doing.  

At this point I don't know what more Florida's unions need to see their end game and their silence seems more and more like complicity.

Friends, we have to fight for the right to strike, and perhaps, and I mean just maybe, perhaps the only thing that Tallahassee and the people of Florida will listen to.   


  1. SB 7070 is going before a committee on Tuesday March 19th. Please write the committee members ask them to vote no so the bill dies in committee. I have a suggested email and the email addresses of the committee members on my blog:

  2. The comparison I like to use here is suppose that this happened with police officers. We decided that we needed to have police choice vouchers because I alone as a parent know what is best for the security of my kids and I'd like to have a private police force funded by tax payers that I can choose to use for me instead of being forced to use this public option. Also, the private police force doesn't have to go through any training to be a private police officer and there are no regulations on how they police or accountability. They may be terrible police officers and eat doughnuts all day. All the fixed costs that the public police force has in terms of police cars, offices and jails they have to eat as I take my money to a private security company. It reduces their capability to share costs to provide a public service. Meanwhile, the legislators want to make sure things are fair. So they give the charter police force capital outlay money taken from the public police force so they can't even maintain their buildings. The public police force are getting it on three sides--reduction in funds to operate, reduction in funds for buildings going to charter police and reduction in citizens to protect because of private police vouchers. Do people see how flipping ridiculous that sounds? Would police be literally up in arms on the street if that happened? You're damn right they would be and so would citizens.